Even though almost every single poll and early voting points to President Obama winning Ohio's 18 electoral votes, it hasn't stopped Democrats from hitting panic button over their quadrennial fear of Republican-controlled voting machines. This time they're freaking out about, Hart Intercivic (their e-Slate voting machine is pictured above)—the Austin-based, Mitt Romney-linked voting machine company whose machines will be used in Cincinnati. "In a nutshell: Three of Hart’s five corporate board members are executives of HIG Capital, a global private-equity firm that made what it called a 'significant' investment in Hart last year," writes The Washington Post's Bill Turque. "Four HIG executives (Tony Tamer, John Bolduc, Douglas Berman and Brian D. Schwartz) have been identified as Romney bundlers by independent watchdog groups such as the Sunlight Foundation," he adds.
Romney-bundlers, voting machines, Ohio—it rekindles a perennial fear of voting fraud burned into the brains of Democrats. And that's thanks to a company called Diebold. For those unfamiliar with Diebold, it's a voting machine manufacturer and back in 2004 (when Kerry lost!) its CEO, Walden O'Dell, had written a letter to George Bush and Republicans about Ohio's votes. O'Dell wrote that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president." And during 2004's election, Bush carried the state by more than 100,000 votes, even though exit polling showed Kerry winning. And a conspiracy theory was born. Fast-forward eight years later and election this close, and you can see why Salon is freaking out and Breitbart is telling everyone to chill out. "For the moment, at least, the Hart story is only some intriguingly connected dots," writes Turque. Hmmm, let's see how that goes over in about two weeks.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.