Dominion Voting Systems

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History

Early years

Major vendor acquisitions

[1]

DELIAN Project

Private equity purchase

[2]

2020 election

Main article: 2020 general election

Products

Optical scanners

Election management systems

Subsidiaries

Employees

Controversies

2020 election

Main article: 2020 general election

Political connections

Corporate connections

Suspect elections

2016 Illinois Dem primary

Main article: 2016 Illinois primary

References

  1. "Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. Acquires Premier Election Solutions Assets From ES&S", 2010/05/19
  2. "Dominion Voting Systems Acquired by its Management Team and Staple Street Capital", 2018/07/16

External links

Major personnel

  • 2018/11/04 company page
  • John Poulos - founder and president and CEO, based in Toronto
  • Nicole Nollette - executive vice president of operations, based in Denver
    • Twitter thread by Rigel2020 started on 2018/05/14 - from 1998/05 to 2003/08 she was a Naval officer in the San Diego area and Souda Bay, Greece; from 2005 to 2006 she was an investment banker at Wachovia Securities in the Charlotte NC area; from 2006 to 2010 she was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in the Los Angeles area; in 2010 she became vice president of sales and marketing for distillery no. 209 at the Rudd Group; from 2013 to 2015 she was chief of staff and from 2015/04 to 2016/06 she was vice president of field services and strategic operations of IGT, a slots and gaming company in Las Vegas now merged with GTECH
    • Global Gaming Business, "40 UNDER 40: Nicole Nollette", 2014/10/24: "Nollette is chief of staff at leading slot manufacturer International Game Technology, which means she is responsible for making sure all of CEO Patti Hart’s corporate initiatives get done, on time and on budget. [...] After serving as a command duty officer in the Pacific—using her oceanography undergraduate training to advise on weather systems to ensure ship safety—and as officer in charge of the team responsible for the safety of military assets—human and otherwise—in the Mediterranean, she received further preparation for her gaming career on Wall Street as an investment banker and as head of her own gin and vodka company."
    • International Game Technology (IGT) background
      • Washington Post, "PROFIT AND PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS", 1989/08/12: "For the founding partners of Black Manafort Stone & Kelly -- movement conservatives who rose through the ranks of right-wing Republican politics to ride the crest of the Reagan revolution, securing for themselves a world of Mercedeses, Jaguars and plush offices overlooking the Potomac waterfront -- 1988 was a year to invest in their future. [...] Two of the partners, Charles Black and Roger Stone, spent most of last year as senior campaign strategists, first with Jack Kemp, then with George Bush. A third partner, Paul J. Manafort, ran the Republican National Convention in New Orleans for Bush, and another former colleague, Lee Atwater, was the overall manager of Bush's presidential campaign. [...] Manafort is now a central figure in the congressional inquiry into fees paid to Republican consultants to win approval of housing subsidies from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to his own testimony, the firm used its political influence with appointed HUD officials to get lucrative benefits for a project in which Manafort had invested. [...] To a list of clients that by 1988 already included Allied Signal, Donald Trump, Aetna Life and Casualty, Bethlehem Steel, Johnson & Johnson, Trans World Airlines and Union Pacific, the firm has added in 1989 the Mortgage Insurance Cos. of America, the Large Public Power Council, the Air Transport Association, the Edison Electric Institute and the Circle K Corp. [...] Partners in the firm, particularly Black, have played key roles in developing strategies to mobilize the Christian right in behalf of Reagan and other Republican candidates, but Black and his partners have no qualms about representing such gambling interests as the New Jersey Casino Association and GTECH."
      • Center for Public Integrity, "Under the Influence", 2000/03/02: "Even more startling, however, is the number of close advisers to McCain's presidential campaign who have strong ties to the gaming industry. Campaign manager Rick Davis was registered to lobby for GTECH up through the middle of 1999. GTECH is the world's largest operator of computerized online lotteries, with businesses spanning five continents. It also runs 29 of the 38 U.S. state lotteries. But the huge company has had its problems over the years. GTECH's most recent annual report highlights some of the difficulties:

        "In December 1998, Lawrence Littwin, the former Executive Director of the Texas Lottery Commission from June 1997 to October 1997, filed suit against GTECH in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas alleging that GTECH, as operator of the Texas lottery, unlawfully attempted to have Mr. Littwin removed as Executive Director of the Texas Lottery Commission in order to continue its alleged unlawful control of the Texas Lottery Commission and the Texas lottery. The specific causes of action alleged by Mr. Littwin include alleged tortious interference by GTECH with Mr. Littwin's employment relationship with the Texas Lottery Commission which caused him to be removed as the Executive Director; alleged conspiracy with unspecified third parties to maintain control of the Texas Lottery Commission and the Texas lottery; and various alleged civil violations by GTECH of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act (18 Sections 1961(4) and 1962(b), (c) and (d)) ('RICO')."

        Littwin and his attorneys have suggested throughout the proceedings that GTECH was allowed to keep its state lottery contract in exchange for former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes' silence. Barnes, a former GTECH lobbyist, admitted under oath that he helped George W. Bush enlist in the Texas Air National Guard rather than go to Vietnam 31 years ago."
      • eNCA, "Gaming the system", 2017/08/14
      • GoLocalProv, "NEW: Major Democratic Powerbroker Sweitzer Retiring as Chair of IGT", 2018/12/06: "Donald Sweitzer will be retiring at the end of December after 20 years of leadership in International Game Technology (IGT) government affairs and business development. [...] Prior to his role as Chairman of IGT Global Solutions Corporation -- formerly GTech -- Sweitzer was Senior Vice President of Global Business Development and Public Affairs. Before joining the Company in 1998, Sweitzer served in prominent senior roles in federal and state politics. [...] He was political director of the Democratic National Committee during the first term of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and was an advisor to elected representatives, including Senators Edward M. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts and Howard M. Metzenbaum, D-Ohio. He also worked for Paul Manafort in the 1990s. [...] Sweitzer has been a regular on GoLocal's Power List and Rhode Island's Wealthiest and Most Influential. He has held roles on the boards of non-governmental organizations including current Co-Chair and past Chairman of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and current board member of the Providence Performing Arts Center. Don is also a member of the Lottery Industry Hall of Fame."
  • Mike Frontera - executive vice president and general counsel, based in Denver
    • George Seaton, "Denver Election Commission & Sequoia - Historical Perspective Part II - Just Food for Thought", 2006/11/18: "So, the News conclusion, or what they were told by someone that: "Denver election officials at the time defended Frontera, saying that only the three election commissioners are involved in the purchasing decisions," begs the question why procurement professionals, i.e. the city's Purchasing Division was not involved--were not called upon by the three Election Commissioners in 1996-'97--to conduct a bid or RFP (I still don't know what purchasing"best practices" process was utilized by the Election Commission to purchase the initial Sequoia equipment) which, by Charter, they certainly could have done. Why, was the Election Commission in 1996-'97 not interested in the transparent and unquestionably public process utilized to procure anything; from nuts and bolts to street sweepers and airport snow removal equipment to, yes, voting machines that the Purchasing Division could have provided to them?

      History provides clues, not necessarily conclusions, as to what the dynamics were that brought Mike Frontera to the Denver Election Commission, first as the Public Information Officer and then to the position of Executive Director.

      In my earlier post, I noted that Marcia Johnson (President of the election Commission in 1996), now City Councilwoman Marcia Johnson, was the moving force behind the search for new voting equipment for the City and County of Denver. At that time, Arlys Ward was the Executive Director of the Denver Election Commission, a position that serves at the pleasure of the two elected and one mayoral appointed Clerk and Recorder, who is the third member of the Election Commission.

      It is important to note that on July 21, 1997, the Denver City Council passed an ordinance (No. 472, Series of 1997) that reads: "...the Council of the City and County of Denver hereby approves and authorizes the expenditure and payment from the 1997 appropriation account designated as 'Liability Claims,' the sum of Thirty-Five Thousand Dollars ($35,000), made payable to Arlys H. Ward and David C. Feola, Attorney at Law, as the full settlement of Ms. Ward's employment dispute."

      The nature of the "employment dispute," is, of course, not known and, unless Ms. Ward is forthcoming, may never be known.

      Enter Mike Frontera. He replaced Arlys Ward as Executive Director of the Election Commission either during or sometime shortly after the "employment dispute between the Commission and Arlys Ward was commenced or settled."
    • See the Riverside County CA page for information on a suspicious election in 2004 that Mike Frontera, an employee of Sequoia, played an unexplained role in
  • Goran Obradovic - managing director of EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa)

Locations serviced

Other curiosities

  • Computerworld, "One election-system vendor uses developers in Serbia", 2016/10/05: "One major election technology company, Dominion Voting Systems (DVS), develops its systems in the U.S. and Canada but also has an office in Belgrade, Serbia. It was recently advertising openings for four senior software developers in Belgrade. "Like many of America's largest technology companies -- which develop some of the software for their products in places like Asia, India, Ireland and the Mideast -- some of our software development is undertaken outside the U.S. and Canada, specifically, in Serbia, where we have conducted operations for 10 years," said firm spokesman Chris Riggall, in an email."
  • 2012/05/12 donation of $999 by the 8th Congressional District of Virginia Republican Committee to Dominion Voting - why?
  • Staple Street Capital connections
    • "Dominion Voting Systems Acquired by its Management Team and Staple Street Capital", 2018/07/16: "Dominion Voting CEO and President John Poulos said, "Our senior management team is extremely pleased to partner with Staple Street Capital, which has a proven track record of successfully investing in growing mid-size businesses. Given the opportunities on our horizon, this is the ideal time for us to add financial resources and an experienced strategic partner to help us meet market demand, better serve customers and invest in evolving security initiatives." Staple Street Capital co-founder and Managing Director Hootan Yaghoobzadeh said, "John Poulos and his team have done an excellent job of building Dominion Voting into one of the most trusted providers of voting solutions in North America. We are excited to partner with him and the Dominion Voting team as they embark on their next phase of growth and continue their innovative and customer-centric strategy." Stifel, Nicolaus & Company and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP advised Dominion Voting. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and McMillan LLP advised Staple Street Capital."
    • Buyouts, "Ex-Carlyle, Cerberus execs’ shop Staple Street holds one-and-done close on Fund III", 2020/10/12: "Stephen Owens and Hootan Yaghoobzadeh formed Staple Street in 2010, according to the firm’s Form ADV. The firm was formed to invest Owens’ and Yaghoobzadeh’s own wealth on a deal-by-deal basis, the Form ADV said. Staple Street’s third managing director is Jeffrey Hyslop, who joined in 2014. Hyslop worked at Cerberus from 2002 to 2010, his LinkedIn profile said. Staple Street makes control investments in lower mid-market companies with operational, balance sheet or other process complexities. The firm targets industries including automotive, business services, chemicals, communications/media/technology, consumer/retail, distribution/logistics and healthcare, among others. Owens worked at Carlyle Group from 1998 to 2009, where he co-founded the global consumer and retail group. Before that, he worked at Lehman Brothers from 1993 to 1996, according to his LinkedIn profile. Yaghoobzadeh worked at Cerberus Capital Management from 2003 to 2009, where he focused on distressed private equity, special situation investments, balance sheet restructuring and asset purchases. Before Cerberus, he worked at Carlyle, his profile said."
    • Hootan Yaghoobzadeh background
      • Bloomberg profile of Hootan Yaghoobzadeh - managing director and co-founder of Staple Street Capital from 2009/10 to present; senior vice president of Cerberus Capital Management from 2003/01 to 2009/12
      • New York Times, "Amy Metzger, Hootan Yaghoobzadeh", 2013/10/27: "Amy Jill Metzger, a daughter of Ellen J. Metzger and Bruce S. Metzger of East Brunswick, N.J., is to be married Sunday to Hootan Yaghoobzadeh, a son of Mehri and Nasser Yaghoobzadeh of Old Westbury, N.Y. Rabbi Alan B. Lucas is to officiate at Guastavino’s, an event space in Manhattan. The bride, 34, is an associate at the Manhattan law firm Labaton Sucharow. She graduated summa cum laude from Tufts and received a law degree from Cornell. Her father retired from The New York Times as an account manager in automotive advertising. Her mother retired as a science teacher from Public School 35 in Sunnyside, Staten Island. The groom, 39, is a founder and a managing director at Staple Street Capital, an investment firm in Manhattan. He graduated from Cornell and received an M.B.A. from Harvard. His mother, now retired, owned a real estate company in Port Richmond, Staten Island, that bore her name. His father is a developer at NY & TG Capital, a real estate investment and development firm in Port Richmond."
  • Michael Steel as spokesman
    • MSN (from Washington Examiner), "Dominion spokesman: Trump won 14 Pennsylvania counties where Dominion voting systems were used", 2020/11/22: "On Sunday, Dominion spokesman Michael Steel, who formerly worked with former House Speaker John Boehner and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, rebutted claims from Trump's camp that Dominion voting machines were used to flip votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden. According to Steel, Trump won the counties where their machines were used in Pennsylvania. [...] When asked if the votes could have been skewed to favor Biden, Steel said that was a "realm of conspiracies so dark" he has "no idea" what they're talking about. Steel decried claims from Trump legal member Sidney Powell that Dominion voting software enabled votes to be counted in fractions for Biden. [...] Steel described himself as a "conservative Republican" with a history of working for "conservative causes, candidates, and election officials for nearly 20 years," and said the Trump camp's claims of fraud are against the "very system that inspires the confidence that we have and the love of our country.""
    • Hamilton Place Strategies bio for Michael Steel: "After nearly two decades working in journalism, on Capitol Hill and for political campaigns, Michael Steel joined Hamilton Place Strategies in 2016, where he advises a range of clients on strategic communications and public policy. Steel is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. He is a former Rankin Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism and currently serves on their Board of Advisors. [...] Before HPS, he was a senior policy and communications advisor for Governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. Before that, Steel was the press secretary for Speaker of the House John Boehner. He was involved in debates over spending, taxes, health care, financial regulations, energy, and national security. During the 2012 Presidential election campaign, he served as Press Secretary to Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan and traveled with him throughout the campaign. Prior to working for Speaker Boehner, Steel was the Communications Director for Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee (which has jurisdiction over tax, trade, and health care policy) and the House Republican Policy Committee, in addition to serving as the Press Secretary for then-Reps. Jim McCrery of Louisiana and John Shaddegg of Arizona. He also assisted several political campaigns, including Governor Mitt Romney’s 2008 primary campaign and Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn’s first senate race."
  • Tweet by Rigel2020 showing that only a minute's walk away from Dominion is the Toronto office of TD Ameritrade - the company itself is based in Omaha NE and its founder is Joe Ricketts (father of Nebraska governor from 2015 onwards Pete Ricketts and RNC finance chairman Todd Ricketts)
    • America Magazine, "Dallas Revisited: 'Parkland' adds little to JFK lore" by John Anderson, 2013/10/11: "[Peter] Landesman, who was accused of his own creative reportage when he wrote about sex slavery for the New York Times Magazine, does not really have an aggressive objective regarding the “truth” of the J.F.K. assassination; his editorializing manifests itself mainly through omission, or adherence to the official line. [...] And as far as “Parkland” is concerned, that is madman singular—no second gunman on the grassy knoll. [...] “Parkland” was produced by the American Film Company, which was behind the Robert Redford-directed Lincoln-assassination film “The Conspirator” (which just adds to all those mythic Kennedy-Lincoln parallels) and was founded by Joe Ricketts, who created the company, according to its Web site, in order “to celebrate the extraordinary characters and events from American history…with the vision that films can entertain while changing the way audiences view our collective past.” While the site also notes that Ricketts founded TD Ameritrade, it neglects to mention he served on the board of trustees of the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute, whose members were onetime architects of much George W. Bush administration policy and include Paul Wolfowitz, Newt Gingrich and John Bolton."