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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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New Hampshire to Recount Ballots in Light of Controversy

The fat lady obviously has not sung yet..................

New Hampshire to Recount Ballots in Light of Controversy

Both Republican and Democratic candidates have asked the state of New Hampshire to conduct a hand recount of all primary ballots statewide, citing internet rumors about vote discrepancies and voting machine fraud in the primary results.

Democratic presidential nominee candidate Kucinich was the first to make headlines in calling for a statewide recount of the Democratic primary results in response to the internet fury around a post made by a woman named Lori Price that someone made online that compares votes counted by optical scan machines made by Diebold Election Systems (now re-named Premier Election Solutions) to votes counted by hand. [Thanks to the reader below who wrote in to say that Price didn't create the site where the results appear.]

Today the New Hampshire secretary of state's office announced that Republican presidential nominee candidate Albert Howard also asked for a statewide recount of the Republican primary results.

The last time New Hampshire conducted a statewide recount of a presidential primary was in 1980.

Ellen Dube, elections assistant at the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office, told me that the Republican recount will begin next Wednesday (January 16). She said her office had not yet received a formal request from Kucinich. She said the recounts would likely take at least two weeks to complete and would cost several thousand dollars each, since the state will have to pay all workers involved in the recount, including state troopers who will transport the ballots.

I should emphasize here that, contrary to some reports in the blogosphere, the controversy is not about electronic voting machines (i.e., paperless touch-screen voting machines), since New Hampshire doesn't use such machines. New Hampshire passed a law back in 1994 requiring all voting machines to produce a paper trail, a decade before the controversy over paperless touch-screen machines even became an issue. Instead of touch-screen machines, New Hampshire uses only old-style paper ballots and optical-scan ballots. In the case of the latter, voters mark a paper ballot with a pen before officials scan it through an electronic reader and tabulate the results via computer.

The controversy began when Lori Price someone posted results showing that Barack Obama received more votes than Clinton in precincts where the ballots were counted by hand than in precincts where they were counted by optical-scan machines.

Some activists have seized the information as "proof" of voter fraud, though Price the person who posted the information cautioned against drawing such conclusions, writing that "They simply show that some things stand out as being odd and worthy of further investigation."

At least one blogger has found an alternative explanation for the differences in the vote results. The difference between the machine-counted precincts and the hand-counted precincts, writes blogger Ed Morrissey, "is that the former tend to be in the bigger cities such as Nashua and Manchester where Hillary had significant polling leads before the primary. The hand-counted precincts were in areas known to be Obama territory."

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan told the Associated Press that the state will be happy to conduct a recount but Kucinich, who won only two percent of his party's vote and has the least to gain from the recount, will have to pay the full cost for it since he did not lose in a close race. Howard will also have to pay the entire cost of the Republican recount. (New Hampshire law allows candidates who lose a race by a margin of less than 3 percent to demand a recount at a cost of only $2,000. Candidates who lose by more than this have to pay the full cost of a recount.)

''Perhaps the best thing that could happen for us is to have a recount," Scanlan said, "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.''

New Hampshire to Recount Ballots in Light of Controversy | Threat Level from Wired.com
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 04:34 PM
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 06:13 PM
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I might be wrong on this but my bet is that the machines are used in more heavily populated areas and paper ballots are used more extensively out in the boonies.

Internal polling by nearly everyone suggested that Hillary's strong suite was gong to be in the larger cities of the state which would lead to more Hillary votes in precincts with machines instead of paper ballots.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 06:19 PM
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a hand count will be interesting nonetheless
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