Don’t sweat Soros voting machines

Conservatives are up in arms this week over a report that Dr. Evil is back, this time to rig the election through electronic voting machines he controls.  Now, there are a great many things for us to be concerned about in this election, but fortunately, rigged machines is not one of them, and this may be only a distraction from the fight against genuine vote fraud.

Soros is said to control a British company called Smartmatic, which had something to do with election fraud in Venezuela.  The CEO also has Soros ties, but the company currently provides no voting equipment in the United States.  Smartmatic briefly owned a U.S. company called Sequoia Voting but sold it in 2006.  Sequoia and Premier Voting are owned by a Canadian company called Dominion.  They bought Premier, which used to be called Diebold, from ES&S, which is the largest machine maker and was forced to sell Premier in 2010 for anti-trust reasons.  

That being the case, there just aren’t any current connections to Soros or any of his cronies and makers of U.S. voting machines.  Most importantly, each county in America has its own inventory of machines from various manufacturers, and each board of elections has its own I.T. people who have to reprogram the machines every election.  Even if they wanted to, there is no way manufacturers could rig machines years ahead of time to favor one candidate, as it could not be known what voting positions to change or when random test votes for accuracy would be taken.

Given enough time, an outsider might possibly go to each polling place during an election and jimmy open a voting machine, with the codes and hardware ready from somewhere to alter it, but I think the election officers at the polling place might object.  The fact is, there is no proven instance of any outsider reprogramming an election machine, and as paper ballots and printouts are increasingly being incorporated into the machines as failsafes, fears about electronic stealing of votes are diminishing to the point of zero.   

You may remember that it was the Democrats in 2004 who first raised crazy conspiracy theories about black box voting in Ohio on Diebold machines to elect George W. Bush.  This led to the Soros-backed Secretary of State Project, which had its own sinister purpose, ultimately, but not involving voting machines.

Under our current federal voting laws, the so-called Motor Voter Law, or what Mitch McConnell likes to call the Auto-Fraudo Act, it is very difficult to purge names from the election rolls under state laws.  It’s also not allowed to ask for pesky items like proof of citizenship.  The one state official who does retain some oversight, though, is the Secretary of State, and Soros wanted to elect partisan Democrats to that position who would make sure the voter rolls stayed a mess.  Soros’s project collapsed in the GOP tidal wave of 2010, but even so, the Motor Voter Law is so bad that even determined Republican efforts to clean up the voter rolls are being constantly thwarted by the federal courts.       

It should be no surprise that a recent public opinion poll showed that something like 13% of illegal immigrants of Hispanic origin, albeit the ones with excellent phony documents and Social Security numbers, seem to be voting.  (Contrary to reports, the recent California special driver’s license for illegal immigrants won’t work for voter registration or identification)

Those illegal immigrants then join the millions of other low-interest voters the Democrats can target for their Get-Out-the-Vote efforts, which is often not at all different from simple vote-buying, sometimes called street money.  When Donald Trump complained about some precincts in Philadelphia and other urban areas casting no votes for Romney in 2012, he was right to call attention, but the cause was neither rigged machines nor Black Panthers.  It was all the cash sloshing around used to induced poor minority voters to vote Democrat.

Now, Donald Trump, even if he is as rich as he claims, does not have the money to straight up outbid the Democrats in street money.  He could offer to take people for a ride in his helicopter, as he did in Iowa, but that would take too long.  But I wonder how those voters in Philadelphia and elsewhere would feel about getting free coupons for a Trump Tower taco bowl salad...

Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.