Voting machine company Smartmatic demands conservative networks retract election claims

Florida-based electronic voting system company Smartmatic on Monday demanded three conservative media outlets retract their claims that its machines had flipped votes to President-elect Joe Biden, which the company’s CEO said were part of a broader attack on election integrity.

Smartmatic issued legal notices and retraction demand letters to Fox News, Newsmax and One America News Network. All three have pushed baseless and at times conspiratorial claims about the 2020 election being rigged or stolen from President Trump, with anchors and guests alleging Smartmatic voting systems played a role.

“They have no evidence to support their attacks on Smartmatic because there is no evidence. This campaign was designed to defame Smartmatic and undermine legitimately conducted elections,” Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said in a statement. “Our efforts are more than just about Smartmatic or any other company. This campaign is an attack on election systems and election workers in an effort to depress confidence in future elections and potentially counter the will of the voters, not just here, but in democracies around the world.”

The company informed the three news outlets that it would reserve the right to sue for defamation and disparagement.

“Newsmax itself has never made a claim of impropriety about Smartmatic, its ownership or software,” the news outlet said in a statement to The Hill.

“Individuals, including plaintiff’s attorneys, Congressmen and others, have appeared on Newsmax raising questions about the company and its voting software, citing legal documents or previously published reports about Smartmatic,” it added. “As any major media outlet, we provide a forum for public concerns and discussion. In the past we have welcomed Smartmatic and its representatives to counter such claims they believe to be inaccurate and will continue to do so.”

Representatives for Fox News and OAN did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems have been at the forefront of conspiracy theories about the outcome of the presidential election. Trump and his allies have repeatedly cited the two companies in claiming that votes were manipulated, and some have claimed the they are backed by communist money as part of a broader years-long plot to undermine the election.

None of Trump’s attorneys have presented any such evidence in court, however. The government’s former top cybersecurity official has repeatedly said the 2020 election was the most secure ever, and both Smartmatic and Dominion officials have pushed back on the claims.

Smartmatic said Monday that it has designed and implemented voting technology in 25 countries since 2000 without seeing a single security breach.

The president has refused to concede, repeatedly insisting that he actually won the election and calling for scores of votes to be thrown out to tip the scales in his favor in a handful of swing states. The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit from Texas that would have done so, the latest blow to the campaign in a lengthy string of defeats. 

–Updated at 12:10 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden

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