Uncovered tweets from a Black Lives Matter founder, Opal Tometi, revealed her participation in the Smartmatic directed 2015 Venezuelan parliamentary election, as reported by The National Pulse. A Venezuelan created voting system under the direction of former dictator Hugo Chavez, Smartmatic made its way to the United States in 2005 and has now been a source of concern regarding fraud allegations surrounding the 2020 Presidential election. Earlier in the year, Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro met with Tometi to speak at a panel discussion of black leaders in Harlem, which lead to a BLM statement condemning US involvement in Venezuela. The statement written by Tometi read, “We demand U.S. Hands off Venezuela!” something she ignored by participating in their election.
Tometi acted as an observer for the National Electoral Council or Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE), one of Venezuela’s five governmental branches. The CNE was created to be independent, guaranteeing transparency and overseeing elections, but has long been viewed as favoring the United Socialist Party of Venezuela or Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV), and has recently been freshly packed with loyalists by Nicolas Maduro. The 2015 election was the first to utilize Smartmatic oversight in a majority of the election processes. Tometi tweeted about her involvement in the observation and verification process, which was substantiated by the CNE’s involvement in a verification audit held at the National Tallying Centre and her picture of a CNE ballot box. In a Smartmatic press release in 2004, it was recorded that 20,000 voting machines were purchased by the CNE.
This purchase and widespread implementation by the CNE came just in time for the August 2004 Presidential recall referendum, an attempt by the opposition to remove Chavez, where he won 59 percent of the final vote. This was also the first election where the Smartmatic systems were utilized and scrutinized for election fraud by the Coordinadora Democratica, an anti-Chavez alliance. Their claim at the time seems eerily reminiscent to claims of fraud during our own recent election, including pre-voting changes, inconsistencies in exit polling, and anomalies with the machines themselves. In fact, in many polling locations, 67% of the machines had the same number of yes votes, leading some to believe the machines were programmed only to collect a certain amount, changing further yes votes to no votes.
In our U.S. 2020 election, many have claimed it is difficult to ignore the highly improbable number of coincidences surrounding the Smartmatic and Dominion voting systems and their ties to Democrats and liberal organizations. Many also think it is becoming clear that activist groups, known for simply protesting and rioting, could be more well organized and more deeply connected to socialist regimes, radical members of our government, and perhaps worse, a deep understanding of the flaws within our voting system. After the mounting evidence of fraud associated with the re-election of Donald Trump, the looming Senate run-off election coming on January 5th causes many to worry about the security of our elections and if their vote will count.