In one of the most advanced democracy on the planet, voter fraud and election rigging should be very low on the list of things to be concerned about. When you think of election corruption, you think Egypt or Uzbekistan, not the United States of America. But with the privatization of voting machines and the massive influence of corporate money, the worries are extremely well founded and the US is just as susceptible to election rigging as any of the countries it preaches democracy to.
Mitt Romney is a man with serious connections and serious money, and it turns out his family strong financial ties with the voting machine company Hart Intercivic – the same company that made machines that were found to be susceptible to malignant software and having their locks picked in a 2007 test by the Ohio Secretary of State (Ohio was the state that had serious voting irregularities in the 2004 Presidential election).
Not only are the directors at Hart Intercivic major funders of the Republican Party and Mitt Romney’s campaign, but it has transpired that Romney’s son has a direct stake in the company through his company Solamere Capital. From the RT network:
One of Hart Intercivic’s main investors is HIG Capital, a multi-billion dollar investment fund with employees who are some of Romney’s wealthiest supporters. At least two of the five seats on the board of directors belong to HIG Capital. The investment fund’s founder Tony Tamer, along with three other HIG directors, are some of Romney’s most significant donors.
Douglas Berman and Brian Schwartz, two of those directors, were at Romney’s fundraiser in BocaRaton, Florida, on May 17. The cost of attendance was $50,000 per head. Overall, HIG is the Romney campaign’s 11th-largest contributor.
To make the association even more distinct, one of HIG’s investors is Solamere Capital, which was founded by Romney’s son, Tagg, and his campaign finance chair, Spencer Zwick. Many of Romney’s family members, including himself and his wife, have invested in the Solamere Capital.
We covered voting irregularities in Ohio here at The Daily Banter a few weeks back in an astonishing interview with Vanity Fair’s Craig Unger, who penned a book that in part covered the strong links between Karl Rove and the company ‘Smartech’, the tech company that inexplicably took over vote counting from Ohio’s state servers after it transpired Florida had gone to George Bush (leaving the fate of the election in the hands of Ohio). Unger essentially made the case that the 2004 election was rigged after going through the votes with experts, concluding that the irregularities were so severe that there could be no other explanation.
Fast forward to 2012 and it appears there are yet more ties between prominent Republicans voting machine companies. The fact that Romney’s family has financial ties with Hart Intercivic should automatically discount them from the Presidential election, particularly given they were found to be susceptible to hacking.
This is deeply, deeply worrying, and every effort should be made to closely monitor voting activity, particularly in Ohio on election night.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.