Friday, January 11, 2008

Kucinich Asks for New Hampshire Recount in the Interest of Election Integrity

Someone was reading.
Kucinich alluded to online reports alleging disparities around the state between hand-counted ballots, which tended to favor Sen. Barack Obama, and machine-counted ones that tended to favor Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. He also noted the difference between pre-election polls, which indicated Obama would win, and Clinton's triumph by a 39 percent to 37 percent margin.

Candidates who lose by 3 percentage or less are entitled to a recount for a $2,000 fee. Candidates who lose by more must pay for the full cost. Kucinich's campaign said it was sending the $2,000 fee to start the recount.

Scanlon said his office had received several phone calls since Tuesday, mostly from outside the state, questioning the results. New Hampshire's voting machines are not linked in any way, which Scanlon says reduce the likelihood of tampering with results on a statewide level. Also, the results can be checked against paper ballots.

"I think people from out of state don't completely understand how our process works and they compare it to the system that might exist in Florida or Ohio, where they have had serious problems," he said. "Perhaps the best thing that could happen for us is to have a recount to show the people that ... the votes that were cast on election day were accurately reflected in the results. And I have every confidence that will be the case."
It would seem the Barack Obama should pay the $2000 fee and get the entire state "recounted." I put recount in quotes because us critics are wanting a "hand-count" to determine the accuracy of the Republican LHS Associates programmed machine counts.

Bradblog has the best story. Raw Story links to it.
We've put the words "count" and "recount" in quotes, given what we know about these machines, and given the fact that approximately 80% of the New Hampshire ballots have not actually been counted or examined by anyone. To our knowledge, only Diebold optical-scanners were used for tabulating those ballots, without any secondary cross-check or audit, to ensure accuracy. In other words, until now, 80% of New Hampshire results have been "faith-based". The other 20% or so of the ballots were counted by hand at the polling place on Election Night.

We would also caution Kucinich and his team to closely inspect the chain of custody for the ballots in question, and what has happened to them, and the vulnerable op-scan memory cards, since the election two days ago, during the period that concern has been widely expressed about the seemingly anomalous results of Tuesday's election. It's important that the chain of custody be both secure, fully logged, and transparent.
The Election Defense Alliance noticed something highly unusual about the machine counted votes compared to the hand counted:
Theron Horton and I have confirmed that based on the official results on the New Hampshire Secretary of State web site, there is a remarkable relationship between Obama and Clinton votes, when you look at votes tabulated by op-scan versus votes tabulated by hand:

Clinton Optical scan 91,717 52.95%
Obama Optical scan 81,495 47.05%

Clinton Hand-counted 20,889 47.05%
Obama Hand-counted 23,509 52.95%

The percentages appear to be swapped. This seems highly unusual.
There has been speculation in an Arizona election that the county clerk simply reversed the propositions in the software that votes would be recorded for to get desired results. A court battle is underway.

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