Mike Lindell promised Dominion voting machines — but he doesn't have any

Purported voting machine in Lindell-apalooza "mock precinct" demo was actually a high-end Canon document scanner

Published August 14, 2021 6:00AM (EDT)

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has promised for months since the 2020 election that he had obtained Dominion, Smartmatic and ES&S voting machines, and they would be on full display at his "cyber symposium" here last week. But that event has now come and gone with no voting machines of any kind on display. Instead, a readily available commercial scanner was the only device present. 

Going back at least as far as May, Lindell has repeatedly promised to show off his voting machines at his South Dakota gathering, assuring Salon that he had "multiple" such devices in his possession, and they would somehow prove that the 2020 election had been stolen from Donald Trump. 

"We got the machines, Dominion!" Lindell proudly declared in May, adding that he looked forward to cracking them open. "We got all these machines!"

In July, the pillow king again told Salon, "We've had machines for, I don't know, months now. You realize you can buy them on eBay, right?" Lindell additionally promised the voting machines "absolutely" would be present at his Sioux Falls event this past week. 

Yet over the course of the three-day "symposium," no voting machines made by Dominion, Smartmatic, ES&S or any other company ever appeared. Instead, Lindell aides used an ordinary commercial scanner — a readily available office machine — to demonstrate how an alleged hack originating from "China" could hypothetically have occurred. 

Lindell's event space in Sioux Falls included an amateurish set described as the "mock election" area or replica voting precinct. This featured early 2000s technology that was nothing like official voting machinery of any kind.

The larger device in the tableau, which superficially resembled a voting machine, was, in fact, a high-end Canon "production document scanner," model number DR-G1130, which ordinarily retails for around $5,000. This particular machine had a sticker indicating that it formerly belonged to a local government. 

Members of the media were not allowed to enter the breakout rooms dedicated to hosting "cyber experts." Two such experts told Salon that not only were there no voting machines at the South Dakota event, there were no "packet captures" either. (Another supposed element of "absolute proof" Lindell has long promised.) 

"We didn't see voting machines," said Robert Graham, a packet capture expert with more than 25 years of experience who was at the event, told Salon. As for the mock voting machines on display, Graham noted, "they weren't real."

When asked why no voting machines were present here after months of promises, Lindell wished this reporter, "Goodbye Zach. I am praying you get saved." 

The pillow tycoon had previously refused to specify how he obtained the alleged voting machines, a question now rendered irrelevant by the fact that he never had any. "I'm not gonna say how we got them," he said on that earlier occasion. "We didn't take them. We were given them," he stated. 

Along with the nonexistent voting machines, Lindell also failed to produce the packet captures he long claimed to possess and resorted to blaming "antifa" when his entire event fell flat.

Dominion Voting Systems previously declined to comment when asked by Salon whether it was conceivable Lindell had one of the company's machines. Now we have a pretty good idea why.

You can read Salon's previous coverage of Lindell's South Dakota gathering, below: 

Lindell-apalooza melts down: MyPillow guy claims antifa sabotaged his "cyber symposium"

Mike Lindell's South Dakota "cyber symposium" has a bumpy launch: No real evidence

If Mike Lindell's claims were correct (they're not), he likely broke wiretapping laws

By Zachary Petrizzo

Zachary Petrizzo was an investigative reporter at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @ZTPetrizzo.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Cyber Symposium Dominion Dominion Voting Systems Es&s Mike Lindell Mypillow Reporting Right-wing Smartmatic