Dominion Voting Systems, a secretive private firm that is playing a pivotal role in U.S. elections, is implicated in a new lawsuit filed by former Trump advisers in the State of Pennsylvania,
According to the lawsuit filed by Look Ahead America, the Stark County, Ohio Board of Elections awarded Dominion Voting Systems a contract under less-than-transparent conditions.The lawsuit states:
In the second half of 2018, the STARK COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS contacted different vendors to obtain information and schedule on-site demonstrations of voting equipment relative to the potential purchase of new voting equipment. As a result, there were many in-depth conversations between the vendors and the STARK COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, including the staff of the BOARD OF ELECTIONS.
In September 2018, on-site demonstrations of potential voting equipment were made by potential vendors to the STARK COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS and staff. Ultimately, two vendors tendered proposals to the STARK COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS for new voting equipment: (i) Electronic Systems & Software; and (ii) Dominion Voting Systems, Inc.
The Stark County Board of Elections pushed through Dominion’s bid in an expedient manner:
Upon concluding the foregoing executive session during the course of and as part of the meeting of the STARK COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS held on December 9, 2020, the very next order of business was consideration of and approval of the purchase of voting equipment. Specifically, and as indicated in the minutes of the meeting, i.e., Exhibit E, immediately following the BOARD MEMBERS meeting in executive session under the purported auspices of considering, discussing, and/or deliberating “the purchase of property for public purposes” (but not that such consideration, discussions, and/or deliberations were necessary to prevent the “premature disclosure of information would give an unfair competitive or bargaining advantage to a person whose personal, private interest is adverse to the general public interest”), the STARK COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS formally approved the purchase of voting equipment from Dominion Voting Systems, Inc.
The lawsuit thus asserts that the transaction with Dominion Voting Systems was done with an “unfair competitive or bargaining advantage”:
Based upon information and belief, at the time the BOARD MEMBERS met in executive session during the course of the meeting of the STARK COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS on December 9, 2020, there was, at that time, no information the premature disclosure of which would give an unfair competitive or bargaining advantage to a person whose personal, private interest was adverse to the general public interest. The general public was excluded from the executive session held and conducted during the course of the meeting of the STARK COUONTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS on December 9, 2020.
Look Ahead America seeks that the court decide Stark County Board of Elections violated the Open Meetings Act, the offending election officials submit all documentation pertaining to its decision to award the contract to Dominion Voting Systems, and finally, “award Plaintiffs a civil forfeiture of five hundred dollars for each distinct violation of the Open Meetings Act, as well as an award of all court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.”
“The process engaged in by the Board of Elections was not transparent and open to the public,” LAA Executive Director Matt Braynard told Just the News.
“Braynard claims that election officials before voting on the contract with Dominion excluded the public for 18 minutes of their discussion, in violation of open meetings rules,” Just the News reported.
“Nothing necessitated the public’s exclusion,” Braynard said. “And for the next months thereafter, they continued to exclude the public when discussing the contract with Dominion.”
Prior to Dominion Voting Systems winning a bid for a $106 million contract in Georgia, which switched the state away from Election Systems & Software, the company provoked controversy in Louisiana with the manner that it had originally acquired a contract. In October 2018, Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards, a Democrat, cancelled a contract with Dominion Voting Systems.
“The $95 million contract was held up a few weeks after it was awarded when one of the losing bidders, Election Systems & Software, the largest U.S. manufacturer of voting equipment, objected to the contracting process,” the State Scoop reported. “In its complaint, ES&S argued that the request for proposals Ardoin’s office initially sent out contained standards that only Dominion’s hardware could meet; the standards were scrubbed from the RFP during the bidding process, and Ardoin said they were not used to make the final determination.”
It is unacceptable for private companies to be making smoky backroom deals with politicians when the fate of America’s democratic republic is literally at stake. If the LAA lawsuit accomplishes anything, it is to shed a light on the secretive manner these voting machine contracts are being awarded, which is consistent with the way these un-democratic enterprises are being run.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.