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Did Politicians Take Kickbacks for Awarding Dominion Voting Systems Contracts?
New allegations from Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani of potential kickbacks, two of President Trump’s chief lawyers, cast further doubt on the election results in Michigan and Georgia, two states whose elections are nearly entirely managed by a privately-held company called Dominion Voting.
According to Powell, many election officials received monetary kickbacks for their influence in selecting Dominion as the prime election management contractor, which has worked extensively with lobbyists to successfully market and sell their e-voting products to more than 2,000 American jurisdictions in 26 states.
Calls to Modernize Georgia
The New York Times reported in June 2020 that Georgia’s new $100 million voting system, contracted to Dominion, was rife with security issues and was “way too complex” a system to effectively operate an election. Georgia’s new system was awarded in 2019 to winning-bid contractor Dominion, after calls to modernize following alleged voter suppression and lawsuits in 2017 and the 2018 Georgia governor’s race.
In Georgia, many groups called for election reform. However, it was eight separate Dominion-tied registered lobbyists who ultimately secured the $100M contract, dubbed “too expensive” by good government groups.
Dominion’s Lobbyist Sales Tactics Include Kickbacks
On their website, the Toronto, Canada-based Dominion Voting Systems denies any allegations of wrongdoing related to the 2020 elections but surprisingly acknowledges past financial contributions to the Clinton Foundation, dating back as far as 2014. The Clinton Foundation has been widely documented as a pay-to-play non-profit that acted as a marketplace for political influence until shuttered in 2016 amid calls of corruption.
Dominion’s status as a privately-held company with foreign offices and opaque ownership by a Manhattan-based Private-equity fund has drawn scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers as well, where a December 2019 letter penned by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Amy Klabacher (D-MN), forcefully requested details into the company’s e-voting technology, tabulating and counting algorithms, as well as any ownership ties or correlated business transactions.
The Texas Office of the Secretary of State also notably and formally evaluated and denied Dominion’s services on three separate occasions, most recently in October 2019, raising specific concerns that Dominion’s e-voting system is “not safe from fraudulent or unauthorized manipulation.” It also questioned whether the e-voting system was “suitable for its intended purpose.”
Voting Company Ethics
While lobbying is regulated and considered legally permissible, questions remain about the ethics of such arrangements, particularly when 40% of the American voting public uses the Dominion machines.
Dominion’s foreign and private ownership, lack of process transparency, and an apparent culture of lobbyist-sponsored marketing campaigns to governments cast further doubt in an election where foreign money and influence appear more relevant an issue than ever before.
Americans overwhelmingly desire fair, transparent elections, free of interference from foreign influence, and that yield trustworthy results. This erosion of public confidence in election results, as contributed by Dominion’s opaque e-voting systems, is also a surefire way for foreign entities to successfully divide an already embittered nation, embroiled in the upheaval of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a seemingly endless culture war.
While Georgia’s local issues with Dominion are already called in question, the legal challenges and allegations brought forward by Giuliani and Powell now bring the question of election integrity and ethics from the state-level to a full-blown concern of national importance. Conflicts of interests must be avoided to prevent a scenario where Americans can no longer trust the integrity of their elections.