Fox & Friends hosts falsely speculated that billionaire and Democratic Party donor George Soros is manipulating voting machines that they claimed he owns in order to rig the 2016 elections and push his “agenda.” In fact, Soros does not have any ownership in the company he is alleged to control voting machines through, and the company’s voting machines are not even being used in the 2016 election.
Fox & Friends Speculates George Soros Is Rigging Election Machines
Fox’s Steve Doocy: There Are “New Concerns” Of A “Rigged System” Because “Voting Machines” Are “Controlled By A Company Tied Directly To George Soros And His Personal Request For Open Borders.” Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy questions “just how concerned should we be” about the fact that “voting machines in 16 states” will be “controlled by a company tied directly to George Soros and his personal quest for open borders.” Trump adviser Betsy McCaughey replied that the connection “bears investigating” because “one of the top guns” at the company “is very involved with George Soros’ left-wing globalist enterprises, many of which are trying to tilt elections.” From the October 25 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Donald Trump has made the rigged system a centerpiece in his campaign. And now there are new concerns after a report showing that 16 U.S. states, 16 of them, have used voting machines tied to leftist billionaire George Soros in the past. Just how concerned should we be? Let's go to the former lieutenant governor of New York, Betsy McCaughey. Betsy, apparently, a significant number of states will be controlled -- voting machines in 16 states -- controlled by a company tied directly to George Soros and his personal quest for open borders.
BESTY MCCAUGHEY: That's right. This really bears investigating. Because Smartmatic, this UK company, one of the top guns there, Lord Mallach-Brown, is very involved with George Soros’ left-wing globalist enterprises, many of which are trying to tilt elections in Europe and in the United States. And Smartmatic bought a company in California, we can go on with all the details, but we need more investigation of this.
DOOCY: Absolutely. Here's a U.S. Diplomatic cable on the Smartmatic machines that say this. “The Smartmatic machines used in Venezuela are widely suspected of, though never proven conclusively to be, susceptible to fraud. [One study found] that the machines contacted the server before printing their results providing the opportunity, at least, to change the results and defeat the rudimentary checks set up by the international observation missions.”
MCCAUGHEY: That’s right, we’ve got to look into this, but by the way, there's already an airtight case against Soros trying to tilt this election, steal this election, using his money. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/25/16]
Fox’s Brian Kilmeade: George Soros Could Be Rigging Voter Machines Because Of His “Agenda.” Discussing supposed voter irregularities in Texas, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade connected them to “voting machines that billionaire George Soros owns” and implied the machines could be rigged “because we all know George Soros' agenda.” Co-host Steve Doocy agreed, saying, “A guy on board of societies foundation, Open Societies Foundation, has a connection to George Soros,” adding that people “are very worried” about it. From the October 26 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Early voting has started down in Texas, and in the counties of Dallas, Collin, and Tarrant, along with some other counties, apparently some people tried to vote straight ticket, all Republicans, and just before they hit vote, the big button down at the bottom, they reviewed it and they realized, “Wait a minute, Donald Trump up at the top was changed to Hillary Clinton.” Nothing was different except Donald Trump. So all sorts of people down in Texas started getting up on Facebook.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Shandy wrote on Facebook, “I had a family member that voted this morning, and she voted straight Republican. She checked before she submitted, and the vote had changed to Clinton. She reported it and made sure that her vote was changed back. They commented that it had been happening.”
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Wow, you should have a paper trail on all these things. Lisa Houlette says this. “I voted straight Republican ticket, and as I scrolled down to submit my ballot, I noticed that the Republican straight ticket was highlighted, however the Clinton/Kaine box was also highlighted. I tried to go back and change and could not get it to work.” A lot of times they are not capable of fixing it.
DOOCY: OK, so one of the people from the elections commission said, “A lot of voters only vote every four years, and they're not comfortable with the machines. If I didn't believe in the machines, I wouldn't be sitting here doing this.” Some of the other officials said it was user error. So they're blaming the person who's doing it. The key is, after you vote, before you hit the button, just make sure it's everything you wanted.
EARHARDT: The problem with that is those are a few people that are coming out and saying they noticed the problem. Think about all the people that walked away that didn't double check. And so it's just -- Donald Trump keeps saying the system is rigged.
KILMEADE: Yesterday, Steve, you did a segment with Betsy McCaughey, talked about the voting machines that George Soros owns. People are very concerned about that. Eighty thousand signatures on a petition to the White House to switch out those voting machines because we all know George Soros' agenda.
DOOCY: Well, George Soros' -- somebody from one of George Soros', one of his programs, well one of his -- let's see.
EARHARDT: Something Maddox.
DOOCY: A guy on board of a societies foundation, Open Societies Foundation, has a connection to George Soros. But you're absolutely right, Brian. People are very worried about that. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/26/16]
But Soros Doesn’t Own Any Voting Machines And The Machines They Mention Won’t Be Used In The 2016 Election
Wash. Post: Company Soros Alleged To Be Controlling Voting Machines Through “Will Not Be In Use In The United States.” The Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey explained that Soros is not connected to any voting machines in the U.S. She reported that he “has never worked for or had an ownership stake in” Smartmatic, which he is alleged to control voting machines through. The “actual owner” of that company sits on one of the boards of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), which Soros funds, but OSF “has 22 boards, with dozens of members between them.” Furthermore, noted Dewey, “Smartmatic will not be in use in the United States during the 2016 elections.” From the October 24 article:
According to at least a dozen fringe political blogs, Clinton already has this election bagged: Her friend George Soros, they claim, will rig the election through his electronic voting firm Smartmatic. Last week, that rumor went so viral that one concerned voter petitioned Congress to convene an emergency session on it. Nearly 25,000 people have since signed on, all apparently unaware that Soros does not own Smartmatic.
It’s easy to see how this one spun out of control, because there is a (tenuous, mundane) connection between Soros and the London-based technology company. The company’s actual owner, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, sits on one of the boards of the Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic organization founded by Soros. But OSF has 22 boards, with dozens of members between them. And Soros has never worked for or had an ownership stake in this specific firm, Smartmatic. Even if he had, it’s pretty much beside the point, since Smartmatic will not be in use in the United States during the 2016 elections.
Ultimately, this is a big distraction from the real problem with American voting machines — the fact that many are old, outdated and subject to error/attack. If you want to petition Congress for something, maybe try asking them to allocate funds for voting technology improvements. [The Washington Post, 10/24/16]
Business Insider: Soros “Does Not Own” The Voting Machine Company, And Company’s Voting Machines Are Not Being Used In Election. Business Insider’s Lori Janjigian also wrote that Soros “does not own” Smartmatic, and she noted that the company on its website even says, “‘George Soros does not have and has never had any ownership stake in Smartmatic.’” The company’s voting machines, added Janjigian, “will not be used on November 8.” From the October 25 article:
Amid claims by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that this year's election might be “rigged,” some people took this as concrete evidence that Soros, a supporter of Hillary Clinton, would be rigging the voting machines to ensure a Democratic victory.
In fact, one person even petitioned Congress to have an emergency session to discuss the voting machines. Almost 57,000 people have signed the petition.
Here's the problem: Soros does not own the company in question. Also, the Smartmatic voting machines are not even going to be used in this year's election.
Smartmatic is owned by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown. He is connected to Soros through the Open Society Foundation, an organization that gives grants to civil society organizations around the world. Malloch-Brown serves on the Open Society Global Board. Smartmatic says on its website, “George Soros does not have and has never had any ownership stake in Smartmatic.”
And while the company did have voting machines in Los Angeles and Utah during the primary elections, they will not be used on November 8. [Business Insider, 10/25/16]