Sunday, October 21, 2012

Romney Family Owns Voting Machines

Even as I enjoy all the spooky and frightening aspects of the Halloween holiday, the notion that a presidential candidate and family own voting machines is truly a chilling thought. Via a corporation headed by Mitt Romney's son Tagg, the company has successfully purchased the voting machines being used this November in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and Washington.

"Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States.

In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall's election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public. But they will help decide who "owns" the White House."

Just as I was reading and learning about this disturbing reality, over at KnoxViews, writer djuggler poses a question worth answering:

"Why is the purchase of the Ohio voting machines by Tagg Romney 1) legal and 2) not all over the news?"

If anyone remotely related to President Obama's family owned voting machines, FOX "News" would be relentlessly howling and screeching. And why aren't major media outlets covering the fact that Romney's family does own voting machines? FOX talkers gleefully accused the Obama administration of "cooking the numbers" so that unemployment rate numbers showed a drop - so surely they'd gleefully report that a presidential candidate's family owns voting machines, right? Unless, of course, the candidate is Mitt Romney.


  1. Robin Keith3:48 PM


    You are smarter than this suggestion. I would much rather you just repeatedly state that you don't like Romney basedonthe substance of his proposed policies.

    djuggler asks, "Why is the purchase of the Ohio voting machines by Tagg Romney 1) legal and 2) not all over the news?"

    Perhaps the answers are 1) this is just one of thousands of investments by the ooooh scary, rich guy Romney and 2) these machines can't be rigged in any candidates favor nefariosly as his questions suggest.

    Again, Joe...I know you. You are better than this. I felt the same way when I saw the suggestion that President Obama had succesfully "cooked" the jobs numbers. And, heard Hannity ask if he thought the President would take some late action in the middle East to make him look good. It's just silly talk. The issues alone seperate these two.

  2. Giant multi-national corporations owning everything from steel wickets to chocolate chip cookies is not really a problem as I see it.

    However, when a company which raises and bundles millions and millions of dollars for a presidential campaign and associated PACs, and when that company includes the candidate's son as a chief officer and that same company has only recently bought voting machines being used in so many states - that is at the very least a very bad idea.

    Studies and audits from California to Michigan to Ohio to Florida all show critical flaws in the digital voting machines - and in most cases if an error occurs, then states usually throw out all votes made on that particular machine. That's why there was such a large national effort to require paper trails for digital machines - as a safety measure so that votes, thousands of them, would not be lost or just thrown out.

    I have attempted to be quite plain that I prefer Obama over Romney, true, and will continue to express that. However, neither party has much of a moral high ground - as I wrote recently, it's the Congress that's broken down and needs repairs the most.

    And oh yes I would express grave doubts if the Obama family owned voting machines too - but they don't. A political candidate's family and fundraisers should not own or control ANY company which counts votes. It is a terrible idea, conjures too many questions, and will allow - for some - the chance to challenge election results, a problem we really don't need.

    And thanks for reading and sharing your views, Robin. You're always welcome here!!

  3. Robin Keith5:58 PM

    Obama does "own" voting machines...they are called Unions. Bam! That joke just happened!

    Seriously, maybe the timing of this investment into voting machines is more related to the upcoming demand for same. The decision to use them in elections was already made and surely not controlled by the Romney people & PACS.

    And re: Congress...amen, brother. Preach it!

  4. Please read Op Ed in Forbes:

    And watch video of Charlie Rose October 4, 2012 show:
    Computer Scientist Barbara Simons explains why voting machines are vulnerable to hacking; fraud, breaking down, and at the very least - appearance of impropriety (conflict of interest).

    Even if soldiers protected against tampering with machines during voting, they cannot guard against what can be done to the machine's electronics (fuzzy counting, lost votes, etc.) before and after the voting.

    Ask yourself "why did the Romneys and ex Bain executives want to invest in voting machines NOW?" and why did Hart - the company that owns these voting machines - contribute $400K to Romney campaign (and later $25K to Obama)?

    And what would you think if you heard that a challenger running for president in a South American country had bought up the voting machines? Don't be naive. We at least should have machines that give you a receipt for voting.

  5. the Forbes article says a $4000 donation was made to Romney, then after this was known, a $250 donation to Obama.

    also Robin, if memory serves, the Tennessee Republican state legislature has now outlawed unions giving any money from dues to candidates or campaigns. corporations however, can give billions and never have to reveal where the money came from.

  6. CabinFever2:20 AM

    When I saw headlines for this story, I assumed it couldn't be true. Then I saw Forbes covering it; they're hardly a liberal rag.

    Quite frankly, if this issue doesn't disturb you, I am at a loss to explain why it should.

    Over the years, there have been numerous problems with electronic voting systems. They are vulnerable to tampering and worse yet, they can be tampered with and no one can tell - because there is no paper verification.

    I'm sorry but I don't believe this is a coincidence. Now it makes sense why the Republicans have been beating the drum for "voter fraud" all year - a solution for a problem that doesn't exist on any meaningful level. It was all a smokescreen for machine rigging.