Saturday, December 23, 2006

Voting Machines Company To U.S.: We’re Outta Here

Smartmatic will sell its U.S. subsidiary to stop investigations into whether it’s funded by Venezuela’s government December 22, 2006 By Eydie Cubarrubia

A Venezuelan company that makes electronic machines said Friday that in response to questions about ownership, it will sell its U.S. subsidiary and withdraw from a U.S. investment review process.

Smartmatic—which has offices in Florida, California, Barbados, Mexico, and Venezula—will sell Sequoia Voting Systems, a subsidiary based in Oakland, California that Smartmatic purchased in March 2005. The company has also withdrawn itself from review by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

The news comes after heavy scrutiny into Smartmatic’s funding. Critics worried about the possibility of Venezuelan government investment in the company. Since Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has been highly critical of the Bush administration, the thinking goes, the government might use its influence to tamper with e-voting machines that are used in U.S. elections...

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