Scytl: Goodbye, Transparency in Voting

I want to know how America became so corrupt, so fast.

A few weeks ago when speaking to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about missile defense, President Obama inadvertently made his confidence in reelection known when he said, over a hot mic, that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with certain issues after the election. At the time I found his confidence a little bold, a little surprising, and a little disturbing; but perhaps the President knew more than the average American about who will be counting the votes this November.

SOE Software was an election results reporting company based in Florida that processed votes in over 500 U.S jurisdictions. SOE reported votes quickly and in detail, down to specific precincts. Voters could also compare results from specific voting machines at each precinct with the SOE reported results, providing two independent sources of information. But earlier this year, a company called Scytl acquired SOE Software, and with it, likely any remaining hope of transparent elections in this country.

Based in Barcelona, Spain, Scytl is a “worldwide leader in the development of secure solutions for electoral modernization” and handles Internet voting in countries such as France, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, and Spain itself. With its acquisition of SOE, this foreign company will now have a handle on our electoral process and will process the general election votes in November.

For some reason, no major news outlets are picking up this story. (In fact, Michael Savage is one of the few talking about it.) If America is to remain free, elections must remain transparent. Scytl’s involvement in our democratic process, however, simply sets the stage for corruption like we’ve never seen—voting fraud that will make the ACORN fiasco look like a picnic, corruption that I believe may spell the end to the republic.

With Scytl’s “e-voting,” votes are cast online and then downloaded to Scytl’s main server. Once those votes enter Scytl’s database, they are untraceable. With SOE Software, there are two independent sources of information (the voting machine, and SOE’s reporting system) that allow for the public to compare results and “audit” both sources of information “by matching one number against the other.” But with Scytl in control of both the method of voting and the reporting system, the public does not have the ability to audit vote counts, nor to see where votes came from. Bev Harris of blackboxvoting.org states: “With Scytl voting, there will be no ballots. No physical evidence. No chain of custody. No way for the public to authenticate who actually cast the votes, chain of custody, or the count.”  We will have little control over our electoral process if it’s in the hands of a company thousands of miles from our own soil. So much for transparency.

Scytl’s electoral modernization projects were successful in the 2010 midterm elections in 14 states including “an online platform for the delivery of blank ballots to overseas voters, an Internet voting platform, and e-pollbook software to manage the electoral roll at the polling stations.” But the Internet voting system was successfully hacked in Washington D.C. before to the midterm elections. Scytl invited outside parties to attempt to hack into the system as a security test and University of Michigan students were successful in their attempt. Perhaps most disturbing (though I can’t say surprising) is that other computers that attempted to hack into the system were traced to locations in Iran and China. The Florida Department of State also considered using Scytl’s voting system for the 2008 election but decided against it, citing three vulnerabilities of concern with the system:

“Our findings identified vulnerabilities that, in the worst case, could result in (i) voters being unable to cast votes, (ii) an election result that does not accurately reflect the will of the voters, or (iii) disclosure of confidential information, such as the votes cast by a voter.”

Can America really not count her own votes? Why are we handing over a civic right that is uniquely our own to a foreign company that has no business being involved in our electoral process? The specifics of the system itself and the lack of common sense in relying on a foreign entity to count our votes are ridiculous enough, but look at the people leading and investing in Scytl, and the plot thickens.

The CEO of Scytl, Pere Valles, is the former owner of GlobalNet, a telecommunications company based in Chicago. Coincidentally, Valles contributed the maximum amount to President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Though little information supports the claim, Valles is suspected to have some sort of contact with Media Matters, owned by the radical and ubiquitous George Soros. Do you smell the corruption yet?

Also worth noting is Scytl’s distant connection to Goldman Sachs. One of the few companies to invest in Scytl is a firm called Balderton Capital, based in the U.K. Tim Bunting is one of ten managing partners of Balderton, and spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs. Mark Evans spent 15 years at Goldman.

Regardless of how much involvement Scytl has in this coming election—be it a lot or a little—their process isn’t conducive to a completely transparent, auditable election. By outsourcing our voting reporting system to a foreign entity with a questionable vote reporting process, we’re just setting ourselves up for the most decisive election in our nation’s history to be one we have little control over.

As Joseph Stalin once said, “It’s not who votes that counts. It’s who counts the votes.”

Sarah Hinds | Webster University | Saint Louis, Missouri | @Sarah_Hinds76

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18 Responses

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  1. Cheesy balls
    Sep 03, 2014 - 08:39 PM

    Wrong. All wrong. Michigan ran their own software. It was not Scytl. Common error reported in many places. The university was trying to develop their own platform and it failed. It wasn’t Scytl technology that was hacked.

    There’s also no ties to Soros. Lots of claims – because Bev Harris would like to make it so. But still not true. the company, Valles, and most employee are actually not ideologically tied to Soros whatsoever.

    Finally, it’s against Scytl company policy to donate any money to any party – for exactly the perceived bias that such actions can create.

    So many wrong facts. Have you also audited the technology with the same impartial lens? Methinks not so much.

  2. Marvin Aberle
    Jul 21, 2012 - 01:39 AM

    Partisan idiots of both stripes need to realize that this isn’t about one candidate or the other. It’s about the fundamental integrity of our system of voting and elections. So shut up and help fix our ailing democracy.

  3. John Hammell
    Jun 30, 2012 - 07:11 PM

    Bev Harris of Black Box Voting says “With Scytl voting, there will be no ballots. No physical evidence. No chain of custody. No way for the public to authenticate who actually cast the votes, chain of custody, or the count.” We will have little control over our electoral process if it’s in the hands of a company thousands of miles from our own soil. So much for transparency.” See http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/a-spanish-company-known-as-scytl-will-be-reporting-election-results-for-hundreds-of-u-s-jurisdictions-on-election-day

    Bev Harris of blackboxvoting.org has studied voting systems in the United States extensively. According to her, the combination of SOE Software and Scytl is going to make it much more difficult for observers to independently verify the integrity of the voting results in many jurisdictions. The following is an extended excerpt from a recent article by Bev Harris. It is a bit technical but it does a great job of breaking down how things have changed now that Scytl has acquired SOE Software….

    In a major step towards global centralization of election processes, the world’s dominant Internet voting company has purchased the USA’s dominant election results reporting company.

    When you view your local or state election results on the Internet, on portals which often appear to be owned by the county elections division, in over 525 US jurisdictions you are actually redirected to a private corporate site controlled by SOE software, which operates under the name ClarityElections.com.

    The good news is that this firm promptly reports precinct-level detail in downloadable spreadsheet format. As reported by BlackBoxVoting.org in 2008, the bad news is that this centralizes one middleman access point for over 525 jurisdictions in AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, KY, MI, KS, IL, IN, NC, NM, MN, NY, SC, TX, UT, WA. And growing.

    As local election results funnel through SOE’s servers (typically before they reach the public elsewhere), those who run the computer servers for SOE essentially get “first look” at results and the ability to immediately and privately examine vote details throughout the USA.

    In 2004, many Americans were justifiably concerned when, days before the presidential election, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell redirected Ohio election night results through the Tennessee-based server for several national Republican Party operations.

    This is worse: This redirects results reporting to a centralized privately held server which is not just for Ohio, but national; not just USA-based, but global.

    A mitigation against fraud by SOE insiders has been the separation of voting machine systems from the SOE results reports. Because most US jurisdictions require posting evidence of results from each voting machine at the precinct, public citizens can organize to examine these results to compare with SOE results. Black Box Voting spearheaded a national citizen action to videotape / photograph these poll tapes in 2008.

    With the merger of SOE and SCYTL, that won’t work (if SCYTL’s voting system is used). When there are two truly independent sources of information, the public can perform its own “audit” by matching one number against the other.

    These two independent sources, however, will now be merged into one single source: an Internet voting system controlled by SCYTL, with a results reporting system also controlled by SCYTL.

    With SCYTL internet voting, there will be no ballots. No physical evidence. No chain of custody. No way for the public to authenticate who actually cast the votes, chain of custody, or the count.

  4. Mike
    Apr 26, 2012 - 11:57 AM

    America didn’t get corrupt over night; it’s been sliding downhill for about 100 years. The difference now, is that it’s more extreme, in your face, and nobody does anything about it. TSA pedophiles are groping our kids, Corzine walks away with 1.6 billion and nobody does anything.

    To some of the racial commentators: Don’t forget, Obama is half white.

  5. Snopes Is Your Friend
    Apr 23, 2012 - 11:11 PM

    This was published a full week before your post.


    Snopes is your friend

    • Snopes = Soros Networking Obamas Purely Evil Schemes
      Apr 25, 2012 - 07:11 AM

      Snopes = Soros Networking Obamas Purely Evil Schemes

  6. Mark Abeln
    Apr 17, 2012 - 06:23 PM

    You say the CEO contributed the maximum amount to the Obama campaign but in reality there is no proof. Just go to the list of donors and you will find you are just repeating an untruth (lie) that you have heard/read elsewhere. This fact along throws your entire article into disrepute. Sorry there is no TRUTH here simply demogogary.

    SOE doesn’t count votes it simply reports. They check their facts something you should start doing.

    • Alex
      Apr 18, 2012 - 12:39 AM

      At least she checks her spelling… something you should start doing, Mark.

    • Jim
      Apr 25, 2012 - 03:18 AM

      They may just report the outcome but can they rely on the data? maybe a few more votes are inserted here and there. Just enough to put obama over the top in that area. The internet can be contaminated. It has been many many times and these guys have had over 8 years to test how they could add votes.

      • Mark
        Apr 25, 2012 - 05:37 PM

        If you were to look at the product SOE sells it is a reporting tool (not a counting tool) and the county workers put the data in. So if you have a problem go after the county workers.

    • TexasVetgal
      Oct 10, 2012 - 05:27 PM

      No disrepute, merely the nature of the man Obama, he hasn’t stopped lieing,
      and the Media shills (Alphabet Networks) haven’t stopped providing cover for those Lies.

  7. Pa The Patriot
    Apr 17, 2012 - 05:09 PM

    I have never been a racist in my life, however this president was elected for one reason only. That is because he is black. I have no problem with a black person in the White House. Obama told us exactly what he would do when he was elected and certainly We the People cannot be so blind as to not have heard him. Virtually all of his declarations were at least socialistic in nature. At the most, right out of the Marxist hand book. Do not take my word for it. Read it yourself. He has been tempered in his first term, however in his next term, we cannot imagine the extent of his hate for this country and love for third world countries. Like Venezuela (look up that country in the 20th century). A nice middle aged black lady who wore a t-shirt summed it up with only four words printed on it. MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK. Nothing more. That pretty well sums it up.


  8. Chelle
    Apr 17, 2012 - 02:45 PM

    Republican candiate thinks on the positive side about the outcome of an election, he’s being confident.

    Obama thinks on the positive side about the campagin, obviously there’s a fix in.

    Seriously, can the man say anything without someone jumping on it? Isn’t there actuall issues you can write about? Or if you wanted to write about the software, couldn’t you…just write about the software? Is there really a need to tie in one of his remarks to something that doesn’t really have anything to do with him?

    • me
      Apr 25, 2012 - 04:07 AM

      YOU’RE Definitely a disgusting misguided black.

    • TexasVetgal
      Oct 10, 2012 - 05:25 PM

      Its the nature of the Man in question, ask yourself that question, does he lie ?

      Tells me everything i need to know.



  1. Spanish company will Count American votes overseas in November « AfterAmerica's Blog
  2. WHAT is SCYTL & WHY Should You Be VERY, VERY Concerned? Goodbye ACORN hello SCYTL! | Letting Freedom Ring
  3. Thank You, Michael Savage | TheCollegeConservative

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