Some follow-up information about the Smartmatic fact-check on Fox

Fox News aired claims by Sidney Powell and others that there's a link between Dominion voting machines and Smartmatic, which provides voting software.  Because Smartmatic threatened to sue, Fox News included on Lou Dobbs's, Jeanine Pirro's, and Maria Bartiromo's shows a taped segment from Eddie Perez shooting down those claims.  This post shares publicly available information about both Eddie Perez and Smartmatic.

In the first three minutes and ten seconds, you can see the Perez appearance:

Lou Dobbs describes Perez as one of the "leading authorities on open-source software for elections" and "the global director of tech development at Open Source Technology Institute."  Dobbs explains, "We asked him for his assessment of Smartmatic and recent claims about the company."

Although there's a Fox Business chyron, the interview is unusual.  While the camera focuses on Perez, an off-camera voice asks a series of questions that are displayed on the screen, with Perez then responding.

Perez has no firsthand knowledge.  He recites information he's heard from other sources.

In January 2020, an article on congressional testimony about voting systems (including Dominion) being vulnerable to manipulation refers to a phone interview with Eddie Perez (emphasis mine):

Eddie Perez, global director of technology research and development at the OSET Institute, said in a phone interview that while it's important to get industry on record supporting increased reporting requirements, he's skeptical whether the companies plan to follow through absent federal enforcement.

He argued many of the other proposed changes discussed in the hearing would not meaningfully address the fundamental, systemic problems that plague the industry and inhibit better security practices, namely the consolidation of voting machine production across just three vendors and a plodding system for testing and certifying machines.

In November, however, Perez had this to say (emphasis mine):

There have been only a "small handful" of issues that were the result of human error involving voting technology, not the software itself, said Eddie Perez, a voting technology expert at the OSET Institute, a nonpartisan election technology research and development nonprofit.

The OSET Institute has helped monitor more than 1,000 reports of voting issues throughout the U.S. since Election Day.

Perez said he was not aware of any systemic issue related to problems with Dominion software that would affect the tabulation of results.

If you look at Perez's Twitter page, this is his pinned tweet:

His tweets — both his own tweets and his retweets — indicate that Perez is not nonpartisan; instead, he actively supports Biden's alleged win.

About Smartmatic: Antonio Mugica, Alfredo José Anzola, and Roger Piñate founded Smartmatic in 1997 in Caracas, Venezuela, the year before Hugo Chávez was elected.  It's now headquartered in London, and Mugica is the CEO.

[UPDATE: My information about Smartmatic came from Wikipedia. This is Smartmatic's statement about its origin:

  • The founders of Smartmatic were born in Venezuela. The company, however, was founded in Boca Raton, Florida in 2000 and still maintains its US base there. Tesla, Procter & Gamble, Kohl’s, TJ Maxx, Houzz.com, Google and many other American companies were founded by people born outside the US. A US company is still a US company, regardless of where its founders or shareholders happened to be born.]

Piñate was the COO in 2014.  That's the year that Piñate and Mugica joined Smartmatic's new parent company — SGO — along with Lord Mark Malloch-Brown and Sir Nigel Knowles.  Malloch-Brown was the original chairman of the board but is now president of George Soros's Open Society Foundations.  The board currently consists of Piñate, Mugica, and Knowles.

At the time, he helped form SGO and joined its board, Knowles was the global CEO of DLA Piper, retiring in 2016.  Doug Emhoff (Mr. Kamala) joined DLA Piper in 2017.  There is no Wikipedia page for SGO.  Anzola died in a plane crash in Venezuela in 2008.

In 2015, during an interview, Mark Malloch-Brown acknowledged that Smartmatic and Dominion had entered into a limited licensing agreement:

Reporter: The question on people’s minds, why is Smartmatic even still here in the Philippines after reports it had violated provisions of the election automated law. Number one for example that it was never allowed to bid in the 2010 elections because it did not actually own the software. Dominion owned the software. Dominion Voting owned the software. Plus the difficulty that they had to put the COMELEC (Commission on Elections) in order to access the source code. Issues like that. Your thoughts? People say we should not be subjected to Smartmatic again this time around.

Mark Malloch Brown: Yes, well I think that’s competitors who say that. The fact is, yes a part of our technology IS licensed from Dominion. But you tell me a large technology company which isn’t using in part licenses from other companies. And we have a license for the international use of that particular piece of the technology.

Reporter: So Mark let me just cut in there and ask you, the license issued by Dominion for you to use for proprietary software, that is a live license for you to use?

Mark Malloch Brown: Yes.

[UPDATE: This is Smartmatic's statement about its business in the Philippines:

  • There are no ties between Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic – plain and simple. No ownership ties, no software leasing, no business at all between them. In 2009, (that’s more than a decade ago) Smartmatic licensed scanning machines from Dominion for use in The Philippines for a Smartmatic election project. Our one contract with Dominion was short-lived and ended in a lawsuit. That was the first and last time that Smartmatic and Dominion tried to do business together.]

Image: Eddie Perez on Lou Dobbs.  YouTube screen grab.