gnewscanada Nov. 21
Toronto Maple Leaf Farm
In the 2020 U.S. presidential election, with public opinion, on election day November 3rd, overwhelmingly in favor of President Trump, the preliminary results from the mainstream media on the morning of November 4th showed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden winning the Presidential contest over President Trump. While Biden’s team was celebrating, evidence of ballot fraud was emerging. The Dominion Voting Systems (DVS) ballot-counting system used in 28 states during the election contained Chinese-made hardware components as well as the Smartmatic ballot software. Voter data was illegally transmitted to foreign countries and this led to the seizure of a server by the U.S. military at the offices of Scytl in Frankfurt, Germany. Public discontent reached a climax and finally erupted on November 14 in Washington, D.C., when the Washington D.C. Voters’ Association held a rally. Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to demand electoral transparency, and to support Trump’s re-election.
The use of high-tech voting systems to process voting results in the U.S. is not new. The DVS machines use software from Smartmatic which describes itself as the global leader in secure, accessible, transparent election technology. Once one of the top-ranked voting systems in the U.S., Smartmatic has a complex background and continues to generate controversy. In the 2020 U.S. election it has been exposed as a real threat to U.S. national security.
Smartmatic Voting Systems in Venezuela
Founded in Venezuela in 1997 by a team of three engineers – Antonio Mugica, Alfredo José Anzola, and Roger Piñate, Smartmatic specializes in the design and end-to-end deployment of technology solutions for specific applications. The company’s niches are: electronic voting systems, smart city solutions (including public safety and public transportation), identity management systems for civil registration, and authentication products for government applications.
The company’s first U.S. entity was incorporated in Delaware in April 2000 and opened its headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida with seven employees in November of that year. The 2000 U.S. presidential election was marred by “hanging and dimpled chads” on the Florida ballot cards. After controversy erupted over the mis-counting of ballots, Smartmatic began to target the development of election voting systems.
In April 2003 in Caracas, Venezuela, Smartmatic officially unveiled its prototype for election automation. The testing of the prototype covered all the details of the process necessary for any type of election. During the tests, emphasis was placed on the system’s encryption capabilities, which are essential for the confidential storage and transmission of data, as well as the robustness of the software and hardware system’s components. The system passed all tests with no shortcomings, said a company spokesperson.
The voting system was developed entirely in-house by Smartmatic. That includes the integration of hardware and software systems from design stage to end-to-end deployment. Such a complex, purpose-built technical solution would require a strong, system-wide R&D capability that would not have been possible in Venezuela without massive technical and financial support. Although Smartmatric established a U.S. presence in 2000, almost all of its products were developed in Venezuela, a country where capital is scarce and scientific research and manufacturing are not sophisticated.
Key conclusion/question #1: where did the financing and R&D knowledge come from?
Smartmatric’s voting solution was first implemented in the August 2004 recall referendum against President Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, and was successful in helping Chávez secure 59% of the votes. This result was met with accusations of electoral fraud. At the time questions were only raised about the election process and patterns. Nobody focused on the Smartmatic voting system. The good people of Venezuela had no idea that an invisible hand was manipulating the referendum.
Smartmatic first established a presence in the United States in 2000 in Boca Raton, Florida, then moved its headquarters to Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2004, and opened a new headquarters in London in 2012.
According to Wikipedia: “although Smartmatic has made different claims about whether they are American or Dutch, the U.S. State Department notes that the owners of the company remain hidden in a network of holding companies in the Netherlands and Barbados”. The New York Times notes that “the role of the young Venezuelan engineers who founded Smartmatic has become less obvious and that its organization is an elaborate network of offshore companies and foreign trusts.” BBC News noted that while Smartmatic says the company was founded in the U.S. and “its roots are firmly fixed in (Venezuela), the ownership structure is opaque.” Smartmatic maintains that holding companies in multiple countries are used for “tax efficiency.”
WikiLeaks provides some more detail, “…they have a list of about 30 anonymous investors …. the silent partners are mainly upper-class Venezuelans, …. then Defense Minister Jose Vicente Rangel …. the Vice President’s daughter Gisela Rangel Avalos, Chávez’s political mentor Luis Miquelina is also a shareholder in the company ….” The true identity of most of Smartmatic’s shareholders remains a mystery.
Key conclusion/question #2: who are the true owners of Smartmatic and where is the company resident for tax purposes?
Sequoia Voting Systems of the United States
In 1984, Sequoia Pacific System Corporation purchased the voting machine business of AVM Corporation (the former Automatic Voting Machine Corporation) and reorganized it as Sequoia Voting Systems. By the time Sequoia bought the AVM voting business, the AVM Automatic Voting Computer (AVC) was ready for market. Under Sequoia’s ownership, AVC was certified for use in several states in 1986 and 1987, and it went to market as the ‘Sequoia AVC Advantage DRE voting machine’ in 1990.
In late 1997, benefiting from an antitrust action by the U.S. Department of Justice, Sequoia Voting System obtained the intellectual property rights of the Optech line of ballot scanners. It proceeded to manufacture scanning voting machines and developed a touch-screen. But the product underperformed after several years of losses. In March 2005, the company was acquired by Smartmatric, which had developed a range of advanced election systems, including voting machines. Since then, Smartmatic has assigned most of its development and management teams to work on retrofitting some of Sequoia’s old-fashioned, legacy voting machines and replacing their technology with proprietary features, resulting in new high-tech products. As a result, Sequoia sold many next-generation election products and experienced a healthy financial recovery in fiscal years 2006 and 2007. However, in the 2006 presidential election, Sequoia’s voting system was called into question.
1.Cook County, Illinois is the second most populous county in the United States. It had many problems using the Sequoia Voting System. Problems were suspected to be related to a software error of the voting system.
2.Florida replaced the punch card voting system with a touchscreen system after the 2000 election problems, but the touchscreen system purchased from Sequoia had some major problems.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) opened an investigation into Sequoia only after Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who chairs the subcommittee overseeing CFIUS and who co‐authored the Foreign Investment and National Security Act 2007 (FINSA), wrote a letter to then‐Treasury Secretary John Snow inquiring whether the Venezuelan government could use Sequoia to manipulate U.S. elections. Maloney cited the fact that the Venezuelan state had invested in Smartmatic’s affiliates, the company’s current ownership was buried in a labyrinth of offshore trusts, and revelations that Sequoia had flown 15 Venezuelan nationals to Chicago to tabulate votes in a local election. “There clearly remained doubt surrounding this company, and as long as those doubts lingered, many people would have legitimate questions about the integrity of these voting machines,” said Maloney. “When I first raised this case with Treasury, I thought that it was ripe for a CFIUS investigation, because the integrity of our voting machines is vital to national security. At that time, Smartmatic flatly refused to undergo a CFIUS review. But now it seems the company could not overcome the cloud of doubt surrounding this doubt – had they been able to, we would not be talking about a sale of Sequoia today. As I said in May, it seems that a CFIUS review was in fact the proper course.”
The company replaced its headquarters in Boca Raton in favor of a complex structure with offices in multiple locations. The U.S. State Department said its Venezuelan owners “remain hidden behind a network of holding companies in the Netherlands and Barbados”; its organization is “a complex network of offshore companies and foreign trusts.”
Key conclusion/question #3: why did Smartmatic reorganize from a transparent structure with a head office in Florida to an opaque structure with holding companies and trusts in the Netherlands and Barbados?
In November 2007 CFIUS issued a ruling ordering Smartmatic to sell all of its shares in Sequoia Voting Systems in exchange for CFIUS dropping its investigation of Smartmatic. But what followed was far from what one might expect. Following a ruling by the CFIUS, Smartmatic was ordered to sell to Sequoia’s management team- SVS Holdings Inc, (Sequoia Holdings). However, Smartmatic still retained some financial control over several aspects of Sequoia, ownership of the intellectual property rights of some of Sequoia’s election products deployed in the U.S., and the right to negotiate for overseas business.
It was only in April 2008 that these arrangements were revealed when Hart InterCivic, a competitor of Sequoia, attempted a “hostile takeover” of Sequoia Holdings. Through the discovery process made possible by the purchase offer it became evident that Smartmatic had not fully divested itself of Sequoia Holdings. The purchase contract showed several elements of permanent control over Sequoia Holdings.
- Smartmatic still retained some financial control of Sequoia Holdings.
- Smartmatic also retained ownership of intellectual property rights for some of Sequoia’s currently deployed election products in the United States.
- Sequoia Holdings reserved the right to negotiate non-compete contracts overseas.
“The secrecy regarding CFIUS investigations is legendary: CFIUS was previously not allowed to tell Congress of the results–or even existence–of security reviews.” 
However, these arrangements were allegedly made with the review and approval of CFIUS. Sequoia Holdings faces substantial legal liability for infringement of intellectual property rights and repeated voting system failures.
Key conclusion/question #4: why did Smartmatic retain this control over finances, intellectual property, and non-compete clauses, and why did CFIUS approve this arrangement?
At the end of April 2008, a shocking event occurred: one of Smartmatic’s founders, who was also the founder of the American company, died in a plane crash in Venezuela, along with Smartmatic’s finance department and the plane’s pilot. The Venezuelan Minister of the Interior (said to be a relative of the founder) was the first to arrive at the hospital, along with Jorge Rodriguez, former President of the Venezuelan Electoral Council and former Vice President of Venezuela.
Sequoia Holdings orchestrated a turnaround in 2010 with the acquisition by Dominion Voting System. On June 4, 2010, Dominion Voting Systems, a previously little-known Canadian company which engaged in the manufacture of electronic voting hardware and optical scanners, acquired Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. Sequoia filed a bankruptcy petition under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in February 2014.”
It is worth taking a closer look at the Sequoia group of companies, Sequoia Capital, Sequoia Capital China, and their particularly their founder Neil Shen. This is the key to the connection with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Mr. Guo Wengui made comments about Sequoia and Neil Nanpeng Shen: “…Neil Shen is the major partner of Sequoia Capital, and the Shen family is one of the most powerful in the United States. Nine out of eleven families are his partners, and now it is about the White House, I can’t say his name anymore. Thomas, the boss of Silicon Valley, Eric Smith, the former CEO of Google, and Zuckerberg, the former CEO of FB, were all speechless when they met Neil Shen, including Hong Kong Superman and Rachel Lee, because Shen is the real godfather of the Internet. …… “
Neil Shen (born 1967) is an entrepreneur and investor based in the province of Zhejiang, China.
In 1985, Neil Shen attended Shanghai Jiaotong University in the first class of its newly established program which waived selected students from examination requirements. In 1989, he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In 1989 he travelled to the United States to study – initially majoring in Mathematics at Columbia University and later being accepted at Yale University. He received a Master’s Degree from Yale University in 1992.
Following graduation from Yale in 1992, Neil Shen accepted a position at Citibank in the United States. In 1994, he returned to China, joining Lehman Brothers, where he handled investment-banking projects in China. From 1996 to 1999, he served as a director at Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong, China, responsible for transactions involving China’s debt capital markets. In 1999, Neil Shen founded Ctrip, serving as chairman, president and chief financial officer. On December 9, 2003, Ctrip was listed on the NASDAQ. In 2002, he founded the Home Inns hotel chain where he served as the founder and co-chairman. On October 26, 2006, the Home Inns hotel chain was listed on NASDAQ. In 2003 and 2004, Shen personally became the angel investor and board director of E-House China and China Focus Media.
In 2005 Neil Shen established Sequoia Capital China (红杉资本中国基金) as an affiliate to the U.S. firm, with the support of Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz and Douglas Leone. Sequoia Capital invests in both public and private companies. It specializes in incubation, seed stage, startup stage, early stage, and growth stage investments in private companies. Sequoia Capital has invested in over 1000 companies since 1972, including Apple, Google, Oracle, Nvidia, GitHub, PayPal, LinkedIn, Stripe, Bird, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo!, PicsArt, Klarna and WhatsApp. The combined current public market value for these companies is over $1.4 trillion, equivalent to 22 percent of the Nasdaq. Its portfolio is mainly in financial services, healthcare, outsourcing, and technology. By 2017, Sequoia Capital had originated 68 initial public offerings and 203 acquisitions.
Following the economic crisis in 2009, Sequoia Capital China, led by Neil Shen, chose to invest in companies with high growth potential. Neil Shen has managed the IPOs of several companies on the NYSE, HKEx, and China A-Share Exchange. He facilitated the merger of Sina Real Estate Channel with E-House China, and successfully listed E-House China on NYSE on August 8, 2007. In December 2009, Neil Shen helped the Cao Guowei team lead the acquisition of the No.1 online portal Sina. Now Sequoia Capital China has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou, and Shenzhen. Over the past ten years, Sequoia Capital China has built an impressive and diverse portfolio. This group of approximately 300 dynamic companies delivers high returns on investment using differentiated technologies and innovative business models. They include Alibaba, VIPshop, Sina.com, JD.com, Didi, Ourpalm, Qihoo 360, Jumei, Momo, SINNET, Dianping, Meituan, Meilishuo, Toutiaoto, Navi, Ganji.com, DJI, VanceInfo, Noah Private Wealth Management, Wanda Cinemas, Alibaba Pictures, Plateno Hotels Group, Deppon Logistics, ZTO Express, Beta Pharma, Snibe Diagnostic, BGI, WEGO, and Yuwell Medical.
In 2009, Neil Shen endowed the “Sequoia Xia An” professorship fund at his undergraduate alma mater Shanghai Jiao Tong University, as well as a scholarship program named “Zhiyuan College Outstanding Student Scholarship”. As a board member of the Education Development Foundation at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Neil Shen has funded the summer exchange program between Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Yale University. He has also made several donations to Yale University. In October 2014 the Yale University China Center was unveiled in Beijing. He participated in the endowment of the Center with the largest donation ever from Yale China Alumni. He is the board chairman of the Yale Leadership Center in China. In November 2015, during COP 21 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris), the Breakthrough Energy Coalition was formed led by Bill Gates, Neil Shen, Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg and 28 other business leaders who committed to invest significant resources in the next five years to address climate change and clean energy issues. Neil Shen is Director and a long-time benefactor of the Teach For China program
Neil Shen is not only the founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China, he also serves as Global Steward of Sequoia Capital. Neil Shen is a Member of the 13th CPPCC National Committee. He is a Vice Chairman, China Securities Investment Fund Association, Venture Capital Fund Committee. He is Co-founder and Chairman of the Hong Kong X Technology Startup Platform. He is a Member of the Advisory Panel on Innovation and Strategic Development for the Chief Executive of the HKSAR.
As a director of the China Entrepreneurs Forum, Neil Shen served as the rotating chairman in 2015. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Venture Capital Committee for Asset Management Association of China. He is also a Trustee of the Asia Society. He is the founding board member and the 2016 rotating President of the Future Forum. He is also the Vice President of Beijing Private Equity Association, and the Vice Chairman of the Zhejiang Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai. Neil Shen was the top-ranked venture capitalist in China according to Forbes from 2010 to 2013. He topped the Forbes ranking of Top Venture Capitalists in China in 2014 and 2015. He was ranked at No.3 in 2014.The Asian Venture Capital Journal named him the Venture Capitalist of the Year in both 2010 and 2015, and also the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004. In both 2014 and 2015, Neil Shen, as one of the few honored guests, attended the first and second China’s World Internet Conference. He is a member of High-level Advisory Council of the Secretariat of the World Internet Conference Organizing Committee. In September 2015, Neil Shen was received by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the China – U.S. Internet Industry Forum in Seattle, Washington, USA. In 2016, the New York Times reported that Neil Shen was ranked at #9 on the CB Insights listing of the world’s top venture capitalists.
Key conclusion/question #5: Neil Shen is the key connection between the CCP, Sequoia, and Dominion Voting Systems and their work in the US elections.
Dominion Voting Systems in Canada
Dominion Voting Systems, founded in 2002 in Toronto, is a company that sells electronic voting hardware and software in the United States and Canada. Dominion Voting Systems is one of the three major voting software products that was used in the 2020 U.S. election, along with systems from Election System & Software (ES&S) and Hart InterCivic.
Key individuals at Dominion are associated with the Carlyle Group, a U.S. multinational private equity, alternative asset management and financial services firm with more than $203 billion in assets under management.
Who is behind the Carlyle Group?
In April 2003, Carlyle Capital was managed by a team of former U.S. government personnel, including president Frank Carlucci (former Deputy Director of the CIA), former Secretary of Defense James Baker III (who served on George W. Bush’s Board of Governors), and James Baker III (who served on the Board of Directors of the National Security Agency).
The financial assets of the Saudi bin Laden Corporation (SBC) were also managed by the Carlyle Group before the 9/11 attack in New York. Many influential individuals have worked for or invested in the group, including John Major, former UK Prime Minister; Fidel Ramos, former Philippines President; Park Tae Joon, former South Korean Prime Minister; Saudi Prince Al-Walid; Colin Powell, former Secretary of State; James Baker III, former Secretary of State; Caspar Weinberger, former Defense Secretary; Richard Darman, former White House Budget Director; the billionaire George Soros; bin Laden family members; Alice Albright, daughter of Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State; Arthur Lewitt, former SEC head; William Kennard, former head of the FCC; Karl Otto Pöhl, former Bundesbank president; Henri Martre, former president of Aerospatiale; and Bilderberg steering committee member Etienne Davignon.
Key conclusion/question #6: key individuals at Dominion are connected with Carlyle Group whose influential investors and employees are members of the swamp that Washington D.C. has been sinking into for over 30 years.
In May 2010, Dominion acquired Premier Election Solutions from Election System & Software; and in June 2010, acquired Sequoia Holdings, which at the time had multiple voting systems controlled by Smartmatic in 16 states and 300 jurisdictions of the U.S. As a result, Dominion grew rapidly and achieved the second largest market share for avoting system in the United States.
Key conclusion/question #7: who created and developed the software used in the voting machines sold by the merged Dominion/Sequoia entity? Who controls the code?
1: Richard Brand and Ilya Shapiro at CATO Institute