Fact Check: Secret Super-Computer Is NOT Stealing Votes Through Voter Interface Contractor

Fact Check

  • by: Dean Miller

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Secret Super-Computer Is NOT Stealing Votes Through Voter Interface Contractor Failed Theory

Is a super-secret super-computer stealing votes for Joe Biden in eight states via a state contractor called VR Systems? No, that's not true: The claimed point of theft -- VR Systems -- says it isn't involved in vote-recording or vote-counting and doesn't even do business in most of the states where conspiracy theorists say "The Hammer" super-computer is purported to be siphoning off votes.

The claims appeared in an article (archived here) published by The American Report November 1, 2020, titled "Biden Using SCORECARD and THE HAMMER To Steal Another U.S. Presidential Election" which opened:

The Obama administration commandeered a powerful supercomputer system known as THE HAMMER. THE HAMMER includes an exploit application known as SCORECARD that is capable of hacking into elections and stealing the vote, according to CIA contractor-turned-whistleblower Dennis Montgomery...

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Biden Using SCORECARD and THE HAMMER To Steal Another U.S. Presidential Election -- Just Like Obama And Biden Did In 2012 - The American Report

By Mary Fanning and Alan Jones | October 31, 2020 In February 2009, the Obama administration commandeered a powerful supercomputer system known as THE HAMMER. THE HAMMER includes an exploit application known as SCORECARD that is capable of hacking into elections and stealing the vote, according to CIA contractor-turned-whistleblower Dennis Montgomery, who designed and built [...]

The article says Barack Obama, while president, commandeered a supercomputer system known as The Hammer in 2009 and used an app called Scorecard to hack into election systems and steal the 2012 election and is now stealing votes for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who was Obama's vice president.

The Hammer and Scorecard, according to this conspiracy theory, tampers with computers at the transfer point between state election systems and outside/third-party data vaults:

This time, SCORECARD is stealing votes in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona...In Florida, one of the transfer points is VR Systems Inc, based in Tallahassee. Software vendor VR Systems operates in eight U.S. states.

The theory fails to account for the fact that VR Systems only handles voter check-in, not vote-counting and doesn't work in most of the states listed. VR Systems Chief Operating Officer Ben Martin said VR Systems only operates in Florida, some North Carolina counties and one Texas county. Martin said:

VR Systems does not do voter tabulation and is not connected to county or state voter tabulation systems. Our company provides elections software and services to election officials who manage the voter check-in process. We also provide supervisor of elections websites and databases where voters go to check voter status, polling places. Their systems are not connected to the systems that conduct vote tabulation.

That means The Hammer and Scorecard's purported entry point, VR Systems, isn't even operating in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona or Nevada.

To authenticate, Lead Stories did a spot-check, searching online lists of state vendors for Nevada, Wisconsin and Michigan and found no record of VR Systems, Inc. doing paid work for the state elections office. In Michigan's list of vendors, a "VR Systems" contract was listed at a "motorola.com" email address for video records work. Lead Stories has written to that person and will update this report, if appropriate, when a response is received.

VR Systems' website page of customer testimonials included election officials from seven counties in Florida, two counties in North Carolina and one in Virginia, but not Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona or Nevada.

This conspiracy theory provides no evidence that a vulnerable "transfer point" and "data vaults" are a feature of those states' systems. There is no single national computer system nor even a set of national standards for election computer systems and in states like Texas, for example, local election offices may install a variety of election computer systems.

Although recounts and challenges are common, multiple studies by scholars and journalists have found no evidence of the past mass theft of votes referred to in the claim. Changing the outcomes of those states' elections would require the theft of thousands of votes, not the small numbers unearthed in past recounts and audits.

According to Vote.org, a non-profit voter registration organization, there are multiple cross-checks that reduce the likelihood of wholesale tampering. Physical ballots are examined individually for authenticity before being counted, usually with several observers from both political parties on hand. Tallies, whether of physical or electronic ballots, are cross-checked before they are added to the totals that are then reported from local ballot-counting offices to state officials, who combine those tallies into statewide tallies and then audit ("canvass") the result.

The few irregularities reported by November 8, 2020 were clerical mistakes and operator errors caught and corrected by local officials. As explained by Vote.org, vote tallies are "provisional" until there has been a "canvass" by which all vote totals are audited for clerical errors or other irregularities before "certified" results are announced.

Updates:

  • 2020-11-08T19:28:40Z 2020-11-08T19:28:40Z
    Updated to amplify the lack of evidence for claims that "transfer points" and "data vaults" are compromised or even in exist in every state system.

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  Dean Miller

Lead Stories staff writer Dean Miller has edited daily and weekly newspapers, worked as a reporter for more than a decade and is co-author of two non-fiction books. After a one-year Harvard Nieman Fellowship, he served as Director of Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy for six years. As Senior Vice President/Content at Connecticut Public Broadcasting, a dual licensee, he oversaw radio, TV and print journalists, and documentary producers. He moved west to teach journalism at Western Washington University, edit The Port Townsend Leader and write the twice-weekly Save The Free Press column for the Seattle Times. Miller won the 2007 national Mirror Award for news industry coverage and he led the team that won the 2005 Scripps Howard first amendment prize. 

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