No rigged voting machines in Pike

MILFORD, PA — The Pike County Commissioners and their voting-machine provider on November 2 responded to Internet rumors of vote rigging.

At last week’s meeting, commissioners’ Chair Matt Osterberg read a statement from Dominion Voting Systems, which denied any connection between Dominion and the Smartmatic Corporation, a Venezuelan multinational company headquartered in London, which also produces voting machines.

The statement went on to deny any ownership interest, past or present, in Dominion by George Soros, a Hungarian-American billionaire hedge-fund manager, political activist and backer of liberal causes.

The denial was prompted by recent Internet accusations of vote rigging published on a number of conservative blogs.

In what the The Washington Post termed as “our last-minute, Hail Mary attempt to counter the flood of deeply misleading political memes, blog posts and miscellanea in everybody’s feeds,” the newspaper earlier reported on those claims—that Soros, through Smartmatic, was funding the rigging of voting machines used in 16 so-called battleground states in the November 8 election.

In its October 24 edition of its fact-checking section, “What was fake on the Internet this election,” the newspaper reported that “Soros has never worked for or had an ownership stake in this specific firm, Smartmatic. Even if he had, it’s pretty much beside the point, since Smartmatic will not be in use in the United States during the 2016 elections.”

The Dominion statement went on to state that it “is entirely owned by its employees, who are U.S. and Canadian citizens. Any claim that external entities have any ownership interest in our company is simply false.

“The voting systems we manufacture… are all subjected to rigorous reviews, analysis, testing and certification by election authorities at the state and federal level… Independent testing laboratories, with extensive expertise in secure software design, are selected to perform this analysis. At the local level, prior to election day, these systems are also subjected to public testing to ensure they operate correctly, are configured properly and will tabulate votes accurately.”

(Separately, the Clinton Foundation website says Dominion Voting is working with the foundation to provide automatic voting machine technology and training to the countries of Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica and South Africa.)

Osterberg said the commissioners had been inundated with phone calls about the machines and noted that it was an important job that is “up to us, that voting is as prescribed, correctly.”

Commissioner Rich Caridi added that intra-county handling of voting results does not employ the Internet and can’t be corrupted. He added that their statement applied only to Pike County.

The panel’s minority Democrat, Commissioner Steve Guccini summed up, “No nets, not Internet; get a grip America. Facts are stubborn things.”

In related discussion, a Lehman Township resident complained about four-hour waits in Lehman in the two past presidential elections and asked why the township continues to use the Bushkill Firehouse, where he said parked cars and crowds block the road and emergency equipment. He wanted future polling moved to East Stroudsburg North High School and the discussion of early voting renewed.

“We’re open to it,” Osterberg said of the moving of the polling site, “but we’re told [the supervisors] didn’t want it.”

Guccini said the supervisors were concerned voters would “go to the wrong place. Maybe early voting, but every time it comes up, it gets shot down. I’m not sure how to deal with it.”

 

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