Friday, January 11, 2008

New Scamshire

"While I have no evidence at this time --- let me repeat, no evidence at this time --- of chicanery, what we do know is that chicanery, with this particular voting system, is not particularly difficult. Particularly when one private company --- and a less-than-respectable one at that, as I detailed in the previous post --- runs the entire process."

Clinton would not have beat Obama without the aid of Diebold voting machines. In precincts where electronic voting machines were used, Clinton got a 7% swing over Obama, having gained 5% in comparison to hand-counted ballots and Obama losing 2%.

As we reported yesterday, the contract for programming all of New Hampshire's Diebold voting machines, which combined counted 81 per cent of the vote yesterday, is owned by LHS Associates, whose owner John Silvestro has gone to great lengths to deflect accusations that the machines can easily be rigged.

After purchasing a Diebold 1.94w machine, the same system used in New Hampshire, a computer repair shop employee picked at random by Black Box Voting was able to zero in on the system's vulnerable memory card within just ten minutes. Hacking expert Harri Hursti testified in front of the New Hampshire legislature that the machines were wide open to fraud.

It's not as if Sutton had a handful of voters like some other districts - a total of 386 people voted yet we are led to believe that not one voted for Ron Paul? Judging by the Iowa results, around 10% of residents would be expected to vote for the Congressman, returning a total of around 38 votes in this district. Let's be ultra-conservative and say just 5% support Paul - he'd still get 19 votes - but he got absolutely none whatsoever. Is there something wrong with this picture?

Greenville also tallied 144 votes yet not one for Congressman Paul. Anyone else in Sutton who voted for Ron Paul needs to go public immediately with the charge of vote fraud and make it known that they were cheated out of their right to vote.

Diebold voting machines also did Congressman Paul no favors last night - compared to hand counted ballots Giuliani gained just short of 0.5% from electronic voting whereas Paul lost over 2%, which was the difference between finishing 4th and 5th, as this graph documents.

Mitt Romney profited the most from the Diebold swing, he received 7% more votes compared to hand counted ballots. In the Democratic race the Diebold voting machines clearly swung the primary in Hillary Clinton's favor at the expense of Barack Obama, who had a commanding lead over the New York Senator going into the contest.

Zogby polling numbers had Obama leading Clinton by a whopping 42/29 per cent, yet Clinton eventually took the primary by three per cent.

"If I was Barack Obama, I'd certainly not have conceded this election this quickly," writes The Brad Blog. "I'm not quite sure what he was thinking. And as far as offering an indication of whether he understands how these systems work, and the necessity of making sure that votes are counted, and counted accurately, it does not offer a great deal of confidence at this hour."

Fox News
Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who won less than 2 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, on Thursday called for a recount to ensure that all ballots in his party’s contest were counted.

He cites “serious and credible reports, allegations and rumors” about the integrity of Tuesday results. Kucinich alluded to online reports alleging disparities around the state between hand-counted ballots, which tended to favor Barack Obama, and machine-counted ones that tended to favor Hillary 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.

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan responded that Kucinich is entitled to a statewide recount, but under New Hampshire law Kucinich will have to pay for it. Scanlan said he had “every confidence” the results are accurate.

Did Hillary Really Win?
Could someone have messed with the vote in New Hampshire?

That is what some people are wondering, after looking closely at the totals in the votes for surprise Democratic primary victor Hillary Clinton, and for Barack Obama, who placed instead of winning as all the polls had predicted he would. And thanks to candidate Dennis Kucinich, we are likely to find out. Kucinich today filed a request, and a required $2000 fee, to order up a manual recount of the machine ballots cast in the state.

Polls taken as late as the day before the Tuesday vote showed Obama up by 10 to 15 points over Clinton, whom he had just beaten the week before in Iowa, but when the votes were counted, Clinton ended up beating Obama in New Hampshire 39.4 per cent to 36.8 per cent. In a replay of what happened in Ohio in 2004, exit polling reportedly also showed Obama to be winning the New Hampshire primary.

When that's not what happened, shocked polling firms and surprised pundits, all of whom had been expecting a big Obama win, were left stumbling for explanations for the Hillary comeback from an 8 per cent drubbing in Iowa (even the Clinton campaign, whose own internal polling had predicted her defeat, were at a loss). Explanations ranged from her teary eyed final public appearance before primary day and some sexist heckling she had received, to dark talk about a wave of hidden racism in the voting booth.

But there were anomalies in the numbers that have some people suggesting something else: vote fraud.

Can You count on Voting Machines?

As the primaries start in New Hampshire this week and roll on through the next few months, the erratic behavior of voting technology will once again find itself under a microscope. In the last three election cycles, touch-screen machines have become one of the most mysterious and divisive elements in modern electoral politics. Introduced after the 2000 hanging-chad debacle, the machines were originally intended to add clarity to election results. But in hundreds of instances, the result has been precisely the opposite: they fail unpredictably, and in extremely strange ways; voters report that their choices “flip” from one candidate to another before their eyes; machines crash or begin to count backward; votes simply vanish. (In the 80-person town of Waldenburg, Ark., touch-screen machines tallied zero votes for one mayoral candidate in 2006 — even though he’s pretty sure he voted for himself.) Most famously, in the November 2006 Congressional election in Sarasota, Fla., touch-screen machines recorded an 18,000-person “undervote” for a race decided by fewer than 400 votes.

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