A Spanish Company, SCYTL, has acquired SOE, the leading vote processing company in the United States. According to some reports, this means votes will now be transferred to a central server overseas, where they will be counted, rather than being counted at the local precinct level.
This news was reported on the Market Watch website, back in January and received scant attention in the MSM:
SCYTL is the global leader in online voting solutions with a presence in over twenty countries
– SOE Software is the leading software company for election management solutions in the United States
– The combination of the two companies creates the industry leader in election software with a strong market presence worldwide
SCYTL, the global leader in secure electronic voting technologies, announced today the acquisition of 100% of SOE Software, the leading software provider of election management solutions in the United States. The integration of these two software companies creates the industry leader in the election software market with a full range of solutions covering from Internet voting to election night reporting and online pollworker training, and a strong market presence worldwide.
SCYTL is currently the worldwide leader in the Internet voting space and the acquisition of SOE Software, with its Clarity election management software suite, significantly expands SCYTL’s product portfolio beyond electronic voting. Furthermore, SOE Software’s strong US presence with 900 jurisdictions as customers in 26 states, including 14 state-wide customers, complements very effectively SCYTL’s customer base in the United States and internationally with customers in over 20 different countries across 5 continents, including France, Spain, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, India and Australia.
Um…Is this reason for concern?
Michael Savage certainly thinks so.
Okay, that may have been a bit over-dramatic….
But has anybody else but me been wondering how this incompetent boob could be declaring war against the Catholic church, stopping the Keystone oil pipeline and drilling , destroying the coal mine industry, destroying jobs left and right with reckless abandon – all during an election year, unless some kind of fix was in?
The caller from Fresno was correct - the CEO of SCYTL, Pere Valles, is the former VP and Chief Financial officer of Global Net.
Mr. Valles joined Scytl in March 2004 after spending most of his professional career in the United States. Prior to joining Scytl, Mr. Valles was Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of GlobalNet, a NASDAQ publicly-traded telecommunications company headquartered in Chicago. Mr. Valles assisted GlobalNet in becoming one of the leading providers of Voice-over-IP in the world and was instrumental in the successful sale of the company to the Titan Corporation, a NYSE defense company. At GlobalNet, Mr. Valles was responsible for designing and executing the strategic plan that led to an increase in revenues from US$ 25 million to over US$ 100 million and brought the company to profitability. Previously, Mr. Valles had worked as Senior Manager for KPMG’s Mergers & Acquisitions group in Los Angeles and Miami providing financial and strategic consulting services to private equity groups and corporations involved in acquisitions in the United States, Latin America and Europe. During his career at KPMG, Mr. Valles actively participated in more than 20 transactions in the telecommunications and technology areas. Mr. Valles has a bachelor degree in Economics and a bachelor degree in Law from the University of Barcelona and a MBA (summa cum laude) from Indiana University.
But I didn’t see his name among the Obama Inauguration Fund top donors. I don’t know where people are getting that.
Klein Online reported the news of the acquisition in January:
National security concerns
With the purchase of SOE Software, meanwhile, SCYTL has increased its involvement in the U.S. elections process. SOE Software boasts a strong U.S. presence, providing results in over 900 jurisdictions.
In 2009, SCYTL formally registered with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (AEC) as the first Internet voting manufacturer in the U.S. under the EAC Voting System Testing and Certification Program.
Also that year, SCYTL entered into an agreement with another firm, Hart InterCivic, to jointly market a flexible and secure electronic pollbook purportedly to allow U.S. election officials and poll-workers to easily manage the electoral roll on Election Day in an efficient and convenient manner.
SCYTL’s ePollBookTM already replaced the paper precinct roster in Washington, DC.
During the midterm elections in November 2010, SCYTL successfully carried out electoral modernization projects in 14 States. The company boasted that a “great variety” of SCYTL’s technologies were involved in these projects, including an online platform for the delivery of blank ballots to overseas voters, an Internet voting platform and e-pollbook software to manage the electoral roll at the polling stations.
The states that used SCYTL’s technologies during the Midterms were New York, Texas, Washington, California, Florida, Alabama, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia and Washington DC.
Just prior to the midterm’s however, the new electronic voting system in Washington, DC was hacked.
As a program security trial, the D.C. Board of Elections & Ethics reportedly encouraged outside parties to hack and find flaws in its new online balloting system. A group of University of Michigan students then hacked into the site and commanded it to play the University of Michigan fight song upon casting a vote.
This is not the first time SCYTL’S systems have been called into question.
Voter Action, an advocacy group that seeks elections integrity in the U.S., sent a lengthy complaint to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in April 2010 charging the integration of SCYTL systems “raises national security concerns.”
“Foreign governments may also seek to undermine the national security interests of the United States, either directly or through other organizations,” Voter Action charged.
The document notes that SCYTL was founded in 2001 as a spin-off from a research group at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, which was partially funded by the Spanish government’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
Project Vote noted that in 2008, the Florida Department of State commissioned a review of SCYTL’s remote voting software and concluded, in part, that:
. The system is vulnerable to attack from insiders.
· In a worst case scenario, the software could lead to (1) voters being unable to cast votes; (2) an election that does not accurately reflect the will of the voters; and (3) possible disclosure of confidential information, such as the votes cast by individual voters.
· The system may be subject to attacks that could compromise the integrity of the votes cast.
American Freedom: How Obama Plans To Steal The Elections Through Scytl
…SCYTL has over 900 separate contracts with over 900 voter jurisdictions in over 14 states. There can be no blanket contract that covers all voter jurisdictions, given that each one is a separate entity.
Further, the nature of the contracts that SCYTL has signed with the 900 voter jurisdictions varies from entity to entity. In some areas the company will actually tally the vote through the software it has provided to state and local governments. These entities are using electronic voting machines exclusively, or what is known as e-voting. In addition, some states have implemented what is called remote online voting, which allows a voter to cast a ballot live, online, even from the comfort of their own homes. Comparatively speaking the jurisdictions that have implemented such a system are few in number. So far such a system has been utilized only on a limited basis in local municipal elections in certain selected test markets.
Most of the contracts state and local governments have signed with SCYTL are for the electronic reporting of votes after the votes have been counted and entered into the company’s software database. This allows states to provide detailed graphics concerning election results, but it does not involve the actual counting of votes.
The company has also contracted with numerous jurisdictions to handle absentee, overseas, and military ballots.
Thus, what, exactly, is the problem with the various jurisdictions using SCYTL?
Critics say that the machines and software the company provides are too vulnerable to hackers and to those intent on perpetrating voter fraud. In 2010, Washington, D.C.’s new electronic voting system installed by SCYTL was hacked. And during the South Carolina Republican Primary this year there were numerous reports of irregularities associated with the company’s electronic system.
The problems associated with electronic voting led to a major complaint being filed with the Election Assistance Commission by Voter Action.
Prior to 2012 much of the software being used for voting system upgrades came from a company called SOE. However, SCYTL acquired SOE in a purchase agreement in late 2011 and early 2012. The platform that SCYTL currently uses actually originated with SOE before the acquisition.
But herein lies yet another problem inherent with the software, according to critics. Elections and vote fraud expert Bev Harris of Black Box Voting says that the uniform system SCYTL now uses makes it nearly impossible to check for accuracy, given that it does not mandate a paper trail of votes. There is no proof, no written record, no documentation.
If the company utilized two separate counting systems, the two could be compared and contrasted to test for accuracy. But such a system of checks and balances is not being implemented by the company, and some states no longer require a paper record of votes.
Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of systems like that of SCYTL, however, is the fact that it is possible for elections officials in government, and the computer programmers who work with the machines and software, to see how each individual citizen votes. According to Harris, such a system is a direct threat to voter privacy.