BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Election integrity has been the topic of discussion in the United States for a few years now. The topic came to the Kern County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday — specifically, what to do with the $224,000 contract with Dominion Voting Systems – a company that has been the target of conservative groups that say the company’s equipment is vulnerable to tampering and fraud.
Kern County’s contract with Dominion is up for renewal and must be resolved one way or another before the June primary. At this juncture, Kern County Auditor-Controller-County Clerk Mary Bedard told the board Tuesday, there’s really no option but to renew the Dominion contract..
“We wouldn’t be able to conduct the elections in 2022; this is the equipment we have,” Bidard said as catcalls rose from the gallery behind her
“Once again, I’m going to ask the audience to refrain” from interruption of the speaker, Supervisor Zack Scrivner said.
In the end, that’s what the Board voted to do: Unanimously approve the new contract, 5-0 — but not without hearing from a procession of speakers urging the Board to reject the Dominion system.
One of those expressing opposition was Duetta Anne Reilley, dressed in red, white ane blue bunting.
“There’s a bunch of the military, that’s the Q team, they caught everything, live, as the corruption happened, in 2020, and before,” Reilly said. “This is how elections have been stolen worldwide for quite some time. But it’s been caught by the Q team. I saw it. I saw the evidence.”
Val Olsson was succinct.
“My understanding is that Joe Biden is our president because of Dominion software. So that’s all I needed to say,” he said, stepping away from the podium.
However, painstaking analyses but state and federal authorities found nothing amiss with Dominion machines, as Bidard pointed out.”
“There were thorough investigations,” she said. “Former Attorney General William Barr had stated in 2020 that both the DOJ and the FBI had looked into these charges, the Department of Homeland Security has also looked into these issues, and they did not find any substantiation to the charges.”
Paul Linfesty was one of the few speakers who did not call for rejection of the contract.
“We need to keep an open mind, especially since the official election results showed, in the (September vote on whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom) that the recall went through in Kern County by over 50,000 votes,” he said. “So that sounds about right what you would expect in this county.’
Why, Supervisor David Couch wanted to know, was the county only now considering the contract, two months before the state primary election, and too late to realistically choose any other course?
Bidard’s answer: Ambiguity in the previous contract.
“The five-year repayment of the annual license fee was perhaps the issue that caused whatever the ambiguity was in the original contract,” she said.
“You thought it was going to continue on an annual basis?” Couch asked her.
“On an annual basis, yes,” she answered.
Yes, despite all the criticism, Dominion Voting Systems approved for one more year. Not without controversy this year, perhaps not without controversy next time.