We were among the first to warn of the dangers of Venezuela's acquisition of Smartmatic, a manufacturer of voting machines. Now, the Chicago City Council is taking up the matter, according to our friends at Vcrisis.
Officials from the City of Chicago Council's Committee on Finance will be holding hearings regarding the ownership of Smartmatic International on Friday, April 7th at 10 a.m. in the Council Chambers on the Second Floor of Chicago City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street. The committee will ask questions of representatives of Smartmatic and Sequoia Voting Systems, who will be represented by Jack Blaine.
Readers may remember, as reported earlier, that Cook County and Chicago Board of Election officials will withheld payments to Sequoia due to its appalling performance, saying that the company "did not perform adequately."
Richard Brand from The Miami Herald brought the issue of national security to the fora, arguing that Sequoia, a fully owned subsidiary of Smartmatic, has entered the electoral business in the USA. Smartmartic connection to the Hugo Chavez regime is a matter of public record, having been launched with Venezuelan government's funds.
Investors Business Daily has an excellent editorial on the subject today as well.
If 9—11 taught us anything, it was to be wary of asym— metrical threats from hostile entities no matter what size. We might just get ambushed again if the Venezuelan government ends up controlling our elections.
Don't think it can't happen. A Venezuelan—linked company called Smartmatic has bought out a U.S. electronic voting device firm called Sequoia, which holds contracts for elections in Chicago and elsewhere.
U.S. foreign investment bureaucrats aren't worried because no military secrets are involved. But that kind of thinking can blindside our democratic institutions as we look for threats to our hardware.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is the foremost meddler in foreign elections in the Western hemisphere and has been accused of secretly financing candidates in Peru, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Mexico. Why wouldn't he be interested in influencing vote outcomes here?
It is time for all Americans to pay attention to this matter.