Election

Dominion Voting Systems Targeted by Trump, Boebert, SNL

Patricia Calhoun
Home of Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, not Domino's.
On December 2, President Donald Trump released a video statement to social media that "may be the most important speech I've ever made," he said, before offering a rambling 46 minutes about voter fraud — and name-checking a Denver company in the process.

“We have a company that’s very suspect," Trump said. "Its name is Dominion. With the turn of a dial or the change of a chip, you could press a button for Trump and the vote goes to Biden. We have to go to paper. Maybe it takes longer, but the only secure system is paper. Every district that uses Dominion systems must be carefully monitored and carefully investigated.”

Trump’s diatribe was just the most high-profile attack on Dominion Voting Systems over the past month. Now-debunked reports have spread rumors about everything from the voting machine outfit's ties to the Democratic Party, to its collusions with Venezuela and other foreign governments, to its alleged master plan to rig voting machines in favor of Joe Biden. The most recent suggests that Dominion Voting Systems is now owned by China. Oh, and on Saturday Night Live December 5, an alleged witness to voter fraud confused it with Domino's, and complained she'd been cheated out of "cheesy bread." (To be fair, the company's national headquarters is the building that once housed the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Denver.)

Since the election, Dominion Voting Systems — a privately owned American company whose systems are used in jurisdictions in 28 states across the country, including over sixty counties in Colorado — has been responding to the rumors with a “Setting the Record Straight” page on its website. What started as one paragraph — which addressed misinformation about Sharpie pens in Arizona — has turned into a 1,007-word statement discussing eleven different accusations about the company. It was last updated on December 3, to deny a rumor that votes are counted by a server in Germany.


In addition to that statement, Dominion CEO and co-founder John Poulos wrote an op-ed published November 30 in the Wall Street Journal that rehashed the company’s talking points.

“The allegations against Dominion are bizarre, but I’ll set the record straight. Dominion is an American company, now headquartered in Denver,” Poulos said. “Dominion is not and has never been a front for communists. It has no ties to Hugo Chávez, the late dictator of Venezuela. It has never been involved in Venezuelan elections. None of Dominion’s systems use the Smartmatic software that has come under attack, as any state certification lab could verify. These attacks undermine the tens of thousands of state and local officials who run our elections.”

But the attacks continue. Lauren Boebert, the representative-elect for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, has posted several Tweets over the last few weeks calling for an investigation into voter fraud and questioning Dominion. Among other things, she's claimed that Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren previously took issue with Dominion but are now staying silent.

“American voting systems should be made in America, serviced in America and have all related servers housed in America,” reads a Tweet posted by Boebert on November 21. “This is basic stuff!”


Republican groups in several Colorado counties have also raised concerns about Dominion. The Boulder County Republican canvasser declined to certify the election pending additional documentation, the Jefferson County GOP requested an audit of the 2020 and 2018 elections, and the Adams County GOP came out with a statement questioning the 2020 election’s accuracy and citing Dominion's involvement. Even so, the same day Trump released his video stateement, Representative Ken Buck, the Colorado Republican Party chair, held an online town hall with county clerks in which he defended the integrity of the state's election results.

But nationally, the hits keep coming — to the extent that Dominion has become concerned with the safety of its employees. According to the company, Dominion workers have faced “dangerous levels of threats and harassment."

The Denver Police Department confirms that it has received reports of threats connected to 1801 Lawrence Street, Dominion’s national headquarters in Denver. Because an investigation is ongoing, the DPD will not comment further.

Numerous Dominion employees have removed their profiles from LinkedIn. And on November 20, Secretary of State Jena Griswold temporarily removed a Dominion document from her office's website; it was reposted the next day, with personal information regarding Dominion personnel redacted.

But that isn't all that's disappearing. According to data from the Internet Archive, Dominion has been cleaning up other parts of its site recently, removing a brochure showing a diagram of its ImageCast Evolution system and a PDF related to Dominion’s Internet voting technology. The fact that Dominion’s Democracy Suite 5.5 hardware could be connected to the Internet was one reason that voting examiners recommended that Texas not adopt Dominion systems in 2019.

But Colorado officials stand by the security of Dominion's system. Machines are not actually connected to the Internet, they point out, and voter counts are confirmed by the state’s robust risk-limiting audit process. Colorado counties conducted their audits in late November; the Secretary of State's office is now awaiting the results of the automatic recount in Judicial District 18 before certifying the election.

In the City and County of Denver, the risk-limiting audit process, as well as other safeguards — including a 24-hour live stream of the process — ensure “total transparency,” says Alton Dillard, communications manager for the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

“It is very important to note that our system is totally air-gapped, meaning nothing is connected to the Internet,” Dillard says. “Every single ballot generates a voter-verifiable piece of paper. The voter can look and see they made the choices they wanted before they seal the envelope.”

This story has been corrected to reflect that the Secretary of State's office is awaiting the results of the recount in Judicial District 18 before certifying Colorado's election.