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New Hampshire

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New Hampshire
By Bo Lipari, New Yorkers for Verified Voting   
January 12, 2008
New Hampshire has what New York needs

This article was posted at Bo Lipari's Blog and is reposted here with permission of the author.

I fully support calls for a recount in New Hampshire. That's why we want paper ballots, so we can audit. As far as I'm concerned, audits are ALWAYS warranted, regardless of the reason. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why New Yorkers for Verified Voting has worked so hard for paper ballots in New York State - so we can audit and recount.

That being said, I personally believe the claims being made by some that fraud was perpetrated in New Hampshire based on polls are premature. The majority of people who look closely at elections know that there’s many reasons why poll results might vary from actual results. The differences in the New Hampshire polls and the results could easily be accounted for by undecideds, people who don't want to talk to pollsters, or simply the inherent inaccuracy of polls. As I learn more about auditing and talk with statisticians I've come to see that polls are not sufficient to use as a benchmark for fraud.

While the majority of advocates in the Election Integrity movement don’t see anything astonishing about the New Hampshire results, others are saying that the primary proves that paper ballots and scanners should not be chosen to replace lever machines in New York State. But there is no evidence to draw that conclusion. What New Hampshire has that New York needs is auditable paper ballots. New Hampshire will be able to recount and audit their election. That’s a very good thing and I hope they do it soon.

Let me repeat this, because it's important: I fully support calls for a recount in New Hampshire, because audits are ALWAYS warranted. Indeed, this is what we've worked for all these years.
New Hampshire Secretary of State Announces Statewide Recount PDF  | Print |  Email
New Hampshire
By New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner Press Release   
January 11, 2008
Secretary of State William M. Gardner (pictured at right) announced today that Albert Howard, a candidate for nomination for the office of President of the United States in the Republican Party Primary and Dennis Kucinich, a candidate for nomination for the office of President of the United States in the Democratic Party, have requested a recount of all ballots cast statewide.

Mr. Howard and Mr. Kucinich have satisfied the requirements for initiating a statewide recount of the Republican and Democratic Primary.

Secretary of State William M. Gardner will estimate the cost of the recounts, which must be paid by the candidate(s) for the recount to proceed.

Secretary of State Gardner announced that the recounts will start Wednesday, January 16, 2008.

The time and location for the start of the recount process will be announced after the estimate has been completed and payment of the estimated cost has been received.

New Hampshire law, RSA 660:7, provides that “any person for whom a vote was cast for any nomination of any party at a state or presidential primary may apply for a recount.” RSA 660:2, IV provides that if the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be greater than 3 percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the candidate shall pay the fees provided in RSA 660:2, III and shall agree in writing with the secretary of state to pay any additional costs of the recount.” RSA 660:6 provides that if the person requesting the recount is declared the winner after the recount or loses by a margin of less than one percent of the total votes cast, the fees for the recount will be refunded by the State.

Secretary of State Gardner reports that the last time New Hampshire did a statewide recount of the results of the Presidential Primary was in 1980.

Unofficial results indicate that Albert Howard received 44 votes for nomination in the Republican Primary and Dennis Kucinich received 3,901 votes for nomination in the Democratic Primary.
Kucinich Asks for New Hampshire Recount in the Interest of Election Integrity PDF  | Print |  Email
New Hampshire
By Dennis Kucinich Media Release   
January 10, 2008
KucinichDemocratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the most outspoken advocate in the Presidential field and in Congress for election integrity, paper-ballot elections, and campaign finance reform, has sent a letter to the New Hampshire Secretary of State asking for a recount of Tuesday’s election because of “unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots.”

“I am not making this request in the expectation that a recount will significantly affect the number of votes that were cast on my behalf,” Kucinich stressed in a letter to Secretary of State William M. Gardner. But, “Serious and credible reports, allegations, and rumors have surfaced in the past few days…It is imperative that these questions be addressed in the interest of public confidence in the integrity of the election process and the election machinery – not just in New Hampshire, but in every other state that conducts a primary election.”

Also, the reports, allegations, and rumors regarding possible vote-count irregularities have been further fueled by the stunning disparities between various “independent” pre-election polls and the actual election results," Kucinich wrote. "The integrity, credibility, and value of independent polling are separate issues, but they appear to be relevant in the context of New Hampshire’s votes."
He added, “Ever since the 2000 election – and even before – the American people have been losing faith in the belief that their votes were actually counted. This recount isn’t about who won 39% of 36% or even 1%. It’s about establishing whether 100% of the voters had 100% of their votes counted exactly the way they cast them.”
Kucinich, who drew about 1.4% of the New Hampshire Democratic primary vote, wrote, “This is not about my candidacy or any other individual candidacy. It is about the integrity of the election process.” No other Democratic candidate, he noted, has stepped forward to question or pursue the claims being made.
“New Hampshire is in the unique position to address – and, if so determined, rectify – these issues before they escalate into a massive, nationwide suspicion of the process by which Americans elect their President. Based on the controversies surrounding the Presidential elections in 2004 and 2000, New Hampshire is in a prime position to investigate possible irregularities and to issue findings for the benefit of the entire nation,” Kucinich wrote in his letter.
“Without an official recount, the voters of New Hampshire and the rest of the nation will never know whether there are flaws in our electoral system that need to be identified and addressed at this relatively early point in the Presidential nominating process,” said Kucinich, who is campaigning in Michigan this week in advance of next Tuesday’s Presidential primary in that state.

New Hampshire: Verdict May Signal End for ‘Dirty Tricks’ PDF  | Print |  Email
New Hampshire
By Associated Press   
December 16, 2005
This article appeared in the Portsmouth Herald.

CONCORD - The guilty verdict in a Republican plot to jam Democratic phone lines on Election Day 2002 in New Hampshire should serve as a cautionary tale for political operatives, but the long-term implications are unclear, according to political scientists.

"What’s important is that it was a verdict that dirty tricks are not acceptable, even in politics, which most people think of as dirty," said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist who has written about dirty tricks in politics.

Amy Fried, who teaches political science at the University of Maine, said the phone jamming would have been less scandalous in some parts of the country. "But I think in Maine it does count as a scandal," she said, "because Mainers are used to very clean politics."
New Hampshire: Democracy Needs Both Electronic and Human Input PDF  | Print |  Email
New Hampshire
By The Portsmouth Herald   
November 25, 2005
This editorial appeared in The Portsmouth Herald.

Portsmouth City Councilor John Hynes took a beating from some media outlets and city residents for requesting - and then pushing hard for - a hand recount of the results of the Nov. 8 City Council election.

However, the results of the Nov. 21 hand recount bore out Hynes’ contention that machines are accurate only about 99 percent of the time. Instead of losing his council seat to another incumbent, Bill St. Laurent, by two votes, the recount put Hynes ahead by six votes making him the city’s ninth councilor and pushing St. Laurent off the council.

Originally, city officials had sought to do the recount using the same electronic voting machines that tallied the outcomes in the original election. It was the involvement of such local notables as state Rep. Jim Splaine and former gubernatorial candidate Paul McEachern in asking New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner to state his preference on how recounts should be done that forced the city into a 12-hour hand recount of all 4,000-plus votes cast in that election.

It was a long, expensive and labor-intensive process for the city, but well worth the effort. The recount not only elevated Hynes to a council seat, but showed that electronic voting machines are by no means infallible.
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