U.S. voting-machine shocker: Does Hugo Chavez own 'em?
Oct. 28, 2006: Just 10 days before Americans voted in last year's midterm congressional elections that could result in a historic shift of power, the federal government was investigating whether anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez controlled the company that operates electronic voting machines in 17 states.
Many questions had already been raised about the reliability of the new machines, which leave no paper trails for the purposes of recounts. But federal officials were investigating whether Smartmatic, owner of Sequoia Voting Systems, was secretly controlled by the Castroite revolutionary leader of Venezuela who denounced President Bush as Satan in a 2006 United Nations address.
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A–Smartmatic spokesman admitted the company is 97 percent owned by the four Venezuelan founders – two of them dual citizens. The remainder of the company is owned "by employees of Smartmatic (past and present) and family and acquaintances of the founders."
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