Smartmatic Group, an electronic voting firm whose worldwide headquarters is located in the United Kingdom, will be running the online balloting process in the Utah Republican Open Caucuses on Tuesday.
The chairman of Smartmatic’s board, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, currently serves on the board of George Soros’s Open Society Foundation and has close ties to the billionaire.
The Wall Street Journal dubbed the Republican party’s online adventure on Tuesday as “one of the biggest online votes conducted so far in the U.S.” and the “largest experiment with online presidential voting since 2004, when Michigan allowed Democrats to vote in a party caucus via the Internet.”
The Journal further reported:
Utah residents will have the option of casting ballots in the Republican presidential contest using computers, tablets, and smartphones next week. …
Online “polls” will be open between 7:00 a.m. and 11 p.m. on March 22. Voters will get a receipt that will verify that their vote was recorded correctly. The state party declined to release the number of online voter registrations that it has received. …
“We expect all the jurisdictions across the U.S. to take notice and to look at this experience as something to study and, hopefully, follow,” said Antonio Mugica, founder and chief executive of Smartmatic Group, an election-equipment vendor that is running the Utah election.
Mugica addressed security concerns about online voting, telling the Journal that Smartmatic has security protocols and backups of the election data should a recount be needed. He said he wasn’t aware of any security breaches.
The Journal did not cite the biography of Malloch-Brown, chairman of Smartmatic’s board. That biography is posted openly on Smartmatic’s website, and shows close associations between Malloch-Brown and Soros, a major donor to the Democratic Party and hundreds of liberal and radical-left groups.
The bio states:
Mark Malloch-Brown is a former number two in the United Nations as well as having served in the British Cabinet and Foreign Office. He now sits in the House of Lords and is active both in business and in the non-profit world. He also remains deeply involved in international affairs.
Mark served as Deputy Secretary-General and Chief of Staff of the UN under Kofi Annan. For six years before that he was Administrator of the UNDP, leading the UN’s development efforts around the world. He was later Minister of State in the Foreign Office, covering Africa and Asia, and was a member of Gordon Brown’s cabinet.
Other positions have included vice-chairman of George Soros’s Investment Funds, as well as his Open Society Institute, a Vice-President at the World Bank and the lead international partner at Sawyer Miller, a political consulting firm. He also has served as Vice-Chairman of the World Economic Forum. He began his career as a journalist at The Economist.