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WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the topic of alleged interference in national elections making non-stop headlines every day, a new level of scrutiny has been unleashed upon voting machines that people depend upon in order to carry out their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to vote as American citizens.
That said, Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems has come under the spotlight in recent months, with President Donald Trump blaming them in-part for his November loss to challenger and President-elect Joe Biden. Trump has alleged that Dominion machines had deleted Trump votes or “flipped” votes originally cast for Trump into votes for Biden instead, accusations that the company has repeatedly denied.
Trump’s allegations have not held up in repeated court cases contesting the outcome of the election, but the question remains – how secure are our voting machines? And shouldn’t such sensitive devices be wholly-made in the country whose elections they are meant to serve?
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Adding fuel to an already burning fire, Patrick Byrne, the founder of the online discount retailer Overstock, Tweeted a photo of boxed up Dominion Voting machines with the words “MADE IN CHINA” in a warehouse which is believed to be in Sacramento, CA. The validity of the photo has not been verified by The Published Reporter outside of it being posted by Mr. Byrne and watermarked with the name of its presumed photographer, Mark Cook.
Case in point: Sworn testimony of John Poulos, Dominion Voting Systems Founder and CEO, from a House Administration Committee hearing on election security held on January 9th, 2020, admitted on the record that an unspecified percentage of the voting machines that his company manufactures actually rely on Chinese parts.
“We do have components in our products that come from China and don’t know the exact percentage,” he said. “I can certainly get that to the committee through my staff – happy to work with you on getting the exact number.”
When pressed by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) on exactly what components of his company’s voting machines originate from China, Poulos gave an extensive run-down.
“For example, LCD components, the actual glass screen on the interface down to the chip component level of capacitors and resistors, several of those components to our knowledge are not even – there’s no option for manufacturing of those in the United States,” he said. “We would welcome guidelines and best practices from the committee and from the federal government in terms of this is not a problem that is unique to the industry.”
This testimony came just a few short weeks after an NBC article that documented how Dominion – and several other voting machine manufacturers – had been relying on Chinese components and the security concerns that followed.
Some have maintained that having machinery so vital to the democratic process with components manufactured in foreign countries – especially ones with a potentially adversarial relationship with the United States – could open up this critical machinery to undue foreign influence, although this has yet to be proven or acknowledged by courts. However, when it comes to something as vital as free elections, why take the chance?