Cites Concerns About 'Unexplained Disparities' in Hand and Diebold Machine Counted Ballots
Says 'It’s about establishing whether 100% of the voters had 100% of their votes counted exactly the way they cast them'
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2008, 6:10pm PT  

From a Kucinich for President press release just out...

Kucinich asks for New Hampshire recount in the interest of election integrity

DETROIT, MI – Democratic 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.”
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

The BRAD BLOG has just spoken with a Kucinich press spokesperson who was not yet aware of the full scope of the hand count being called for. As more information becomes available, of course, we will share it.

Until then, a few thoughts on the announcement, a concern about recounts in New Hampshire from an Election Integrity advocate on the ground in the state, and one set of eyebrow-raising new numbers...

In the statement above, Kucinich says that he's calling for a "recount". While it may seem a quibble, the fact is that until now, 80% of New Hampshire's ballots have been "counted" only by a hackable, prone-to-error, Diebold optical-scan machine. The systems were entirely programmed, serviced and controlled by one somewhat less-than-reputable company (LHS Associates). The machines are the very same model shown being hacked in the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary Hacking Democracy, in which the results of a live mock election were flipped via the gaming of the machine's memory card.

Unedited footage of that live landmark hack from December of 2005, as well as rare footage of LHS Associate's President John Silvestro, can be seen here. And more deep background on LHS and their troubling, and exclusive control over New Hampshire's ballots is posted here.

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.

Nancy Tobi of New Hampshire for Democracy, a Granite State election integrity watchdog group, previously noted her concerns in earlier discussions about the possibility of hand counting the state's op-scan primary ballots.

"We have no control over the ballot chain of custody and we have learned the pain from the 2004 Nader recount, in which only 11 districts were counted, chosen by a highly questionable person, and then nothing showed up," she wrote recently. "Now all we hear is how the Nader recount validated the machines. A candidate asking for a recount may well be a tool used to 'prove" everything was okay and then that candidate will be further discredited," she warned.

Finally, Kucinich mentions one of the reasons for the count is the "unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots." Indeed, there are disparities between the hand-counted and Diebold counted ballots, as we reported last night. Hillary Clinton seems to have received a full 7 point advantage in Diebold precincts, versus hand-counted ones.

However, as mentioned last night, that disparity doesn't necessarily indicate anything in and of itself. There could be any number of reasons to explain it. For example, it's the smaller and more rural precincts who count by hand, where the larger towns use Diebold/LHS Associates to count. It could well be that Obama is more popular in smaller towns, and Clinton in larger.

We do note, however, the following rather remarkably anomalous result which was reported late this afternoon by analysts from the Election Defense Alliance (EDA). As noted by one of the researchers, IT Consultant Bruce O'Dell:

Analysts at the Election Defense Alliance (EDA) 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 v. 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. That seems highly unusual, to say the least.

O'Dell notes the group is "proceeding with intra and inter-county results and demographic analysis to better understand what this extremely unusual 'coincidence' may indicate."

You can find earlier BRAD BLOG coverage of concerns regarding the New Hampshire Primary election results --- and the speculation of the pundit and MSM world on why the pre-election polls must have been wrong, while entirely avoiding the question of whether the reported election results were actually validated --- indexed on this Special Coverage item here.