An elections security company has had to pour cold water on conspiracy theories about it and the 2020 Presidential election that have been circulated about it by right-wing media and a Republican congressman.
As President Donald Trump’s allies attempt to attack the integrity of the election, some prominent right-wing figures and websites have homed in on the company, Scytl, because of the products it provided to some US clients.
As with many conspiracy theories, this one has different permutations and explanations. But the basic idea of the most extreme belief around this theory is this: The US Army or maybe the intelligence community raided (there was no raid) the Frankfurt, Germany offices of a company (that has no Frankfurt offices) that tallies all votes in US elections (it does not do any tallying of votes, much less conduct any official tally of all votes in the US, which no single company does).
Data on a server seized in that raid (no server was seized, there was no raid) showed that votes were switched (they weren’t) and that Trump had secured a massive landslide of 410 Electoral College votes, winning California (which hasn’t gone for a Republican since 1988 and which Hillary Clinton won by 30 percentage points in 2016) and Rhode Island (which has gone for a Republican only once since 1976) but somehow not Colorado (which was considered a swing state as recently as 2008).
Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, gave a major boost to the baseless conspiracy theory during a Thursday interview on Newsmax, the right-wing television channel that has been aggressively promoting the false notion that Trump really won the election.
Gohmert said during the interview he was “told there was a tweet in German” that indicated Scytl had been raided.
Gohmert’s comments were picked up in right-wing media, with websites like The Gateway Pundit posting about them and adding new elements to the conspiracy theory.
An article on The Gateway Pundit, for instance, claimed that Scytl’s systems are “vulnerable to electronic manipulations” and that the company had connections to George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who is often portrayed as a boogeyman by right-wing media.
Scytl, however, has aggressively pushed back against the claims.
In a lengthy statement posted on its website, Scytl said it has no offices in Frankfurt and added that the US Army “has not seized anything” from it.
Scytl went on to debunk other elements included in different strains of the conspiracy theory, saying it has “no ties with Russia” and is “not owned by George Soros” and has “never been connected to him.”
The company explained that it provided four products to various clients in the US, but stressed that it does not “provide voting machines in the US” or “tabulate, tally or count votes in the US.” The company told the Associated Press that it temporarily had backup servers in Frankfurt at one point but that those servers have not been in use since 2019 and had nothing to do with its work in the US.
Scytl is a company that bills itself as the “worldwide leader in secure electronic voting, election management and election modernization solutions.” It provides products that help increase security and transparency around elections.
After Scytl released its statement, The Gateway Pundit updated its story’s headline to include a line that said, “Company refutes claims?” The top of the story was also updated to include a similar line.
A representative from Gohmert’s office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the Army told the Associated Press that it had not raided Scytl.
Right-wing media in the US has aimed to undermine confidence in the US elections system since Joe Biden was projected by news organizations as the winner of the 2020 election.
Trump has egged on and amplified nonsensical and baseless claims about the election, falsely claiming he won and that the contest was rigged against him.