Ever heard of a company called Scytl? Well you should have. This company based in Spain specializes in tabulating votes and “modernizing” election processes. Scytl already is in charge of counting ballots for the U.S. military abroad. Now, they are expanding big time. Back in 2010, several states hired Scytl to help upgrade their voting systems. In the coming election of 2012, Scytl has deployed its vote-counting software in 900 voting jurisdictions in fourteen different states.
Part of Scytl’s methods are the institution of electronic voting machines that will be used around the country in a couple of months. Information is collected and then tabulated by Scytl’s software, and the government of the United States is accepting their results with open arms. Okay, so it should be somewhat alarming that a company in Spain is counting your votes for President of the United States. That is enough to spark conspiracy theories all over the map in and of itself. But the more you find out, the worse it gets.
In the 2010 midterms, the Scytl system that was being used in Washington, D.C. was hacked. In a kind of test run, the government encouraged groups to “legally” hack into the system to try to find out how difficult it would be for the security of the voting machines to be compromised. Students from the University of Michigan made short work of it. They hacked the system and caused the program to play their school’s fight song when a vote was cast. The state of Florida pulled out of its contract with Scytl after determining that their were “vulnerabilities” that were undeniable. So that’s two big failures, and yet Scytl is only expanding and will play more of a role in this election than ever before.
Wait for it. It gets better. Scytl has a major player named Rob Moffat helping run the show in Spain. Moffat was a consultant for Bain Capital, the one that Mitt Romney infamously presided over. Bain Capital, of course, donated millions to Romney’s various political campaigns. Another major investor in Mitt Romney’s efforts is Goldman Sachs. They have strong ties to Scytl as well.
I think you get the picture. We’re not saying it is more than a coincidence, but if Romney comes out of this thing victorious, expect conspiracy forums to blow up with accusations. And they may not be totally unfounded ones. However, there is more than one side to the story.
First of all, Goldman Sachs also donates to President Obama. How that works, we can only guess? Probably they want to supplant him, but want to stay on his good side in case he wins reelection. The slippery slope of American politics and special interest groups. So, yes, the same company that donates so prolifically to Mitt Romney donates to Obama as well. But Obama might have the ace of spades on this one. It is reported in many circles that the head of Scytl is clearly in the Obama camp and has donated the maximum amount in the 2008 election. Pere Valles is the CEO of Scytl, and guess where he has worked in the past? He was VP and CFO of GlobalNet, a telecommunications company based in…Chicago.
Funny, you would think a company based in Spain that was commissioned to count votes for the American elections would be unlikely to have any connections to the candidates. And yet the company has ties to both.
Never mind if Scytl wants to fix the election with its tabulations. Imagine the consequences of this move even if Scytl is totally on the level. What if hackers, like the enterprising students at the University of Michigan, could infiltrate Scytl’s software? Especially if they could alter votes without leaving a trace to let anyone know it was compromised, we could be opening the door for hackers to actually control a presidential election. Anonymous must be salivating just thinking about it.