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Monday, January 14, 2008

RELEASE: NEW HAMPSHIRE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY – WERE VOTES COUNTED ACCURATELY?

http://electionarchive.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=149&Itemid=84

Park City, UT January 14, 2008

CONTACT: Kathy Dopp kathy@electionarchive.org 435-658-4657

NEW HAMPSHIRE'S DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS ARE SUSPICIOUS

Pre-election polls projected that Barrack Obama would win the New
Hampshire Democratic primary election. An average of seven opinion
polls predicted that 38.8 percent were going to vote for Obama, while
30 percent would vote for Clinton. The opinion polls came close to
predicting the final results for New Hampshire's hand-counted votes -
39.2% for Obama and 34.9% for Clinton - but New Hampshire's
Diebold/Premier machine-counted votes reversed the outcome.

The reversal of the machine and hand counts is consistent with
programming errors counting votes cast for Obama, for Clinton and
votes cast for Clinton, for Obama.

To see this consistency of New Hampshire's election results with
programming error, analysts examined Clinton and Obama vote shares out
of votes cast only for Obama and Clinton. Overall, Clinton's hand
count share of such votes is 47.07% to Obama's 52.93% share and a
virtually exact reverse pattern occurs with machine counts where
Clinton's share is 52.95% to Obama's 47.05%.

A statistical analysis of New Hampshire's Democratic primary by the
National Election Data Archive rules out precinct-size and seems to
rule out demographic factors as possible causes for the reversal of
Obama and Clinton's machine and hand-counted results; and shows that
the pattern is consistent with vote miscount favoring Clinton.

The National Election Data Archive's New Hampshire analysis and raw
data is posted on the Internet at ElectionArchive.org

http://electionarchive.org/ucvData/NH/DemPrimary2008-PairedPrecinctStudy.pdf
and
http://electionarchive.org/ucvData/NH/

About 80% of New Hampshire ballots were counted by Diebold/Premier
optical scanning machines without any post-election manual audits to
verify the machine count accuracy.

Press reports hypothesized theories for why Clinton beat Obama in New
Hampshire including:

1. the "Bradley effect" (closet racism) that white voters lie to
pollsters and "say" they'll vote for a Black, but given a secret
ballot don't,

2. the "damsel in distress" theory that Clinton's tears brought women
voters out for her,

3. the "good weather" theory, and

4. the "economy was key" theory.

It would be interesting to know why these effects would only occur
when ballots are counted by Diebold/Premier voting machines but not
when ballots are counted in public view by hand.

The "electronic miscount" theory could be a more plausible explanation
for the discrepancies between the opinion polls and the
machine-counted results.

Could someone have mis-programmed – by accident or on purpose – the
optical scan machines such that Hillary's votes went to Obama and
Obama's votes went to Hillary?

UPCOMING RECOUNT OF THE TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2008 NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY ELECTION

The Secretary of State (SOS) of New Hampshire announced that there
will be a statewide recount of the paper ballots beginning on
Wednesday, January 16, because presidential candidates Democrat Dennis
Kucinich and Republican Albert Howard requested it.
http://www.sos.nh.gov/recount%20press%20release.pdf


It is imperative that, not only ballots, but poll books and absentee
and provisional voter records are inspected for a representative
sample of recounted precincts. Post 2004 election investigations of
"recounted" (and non-recounted) precincts in Ohio discovered large
numbers of "phantom" ballots for which no voting records could be
found, and disenfranchised voters for whom no ballot could be found -
see http://baiman.blogspot.com/

U.S. Representative Kucinich asks for a Recount of NH machine counts
in the interest of election integrity
http://www.dennis4president.com/go/homepage-items/kucinich-asks-for-new-hampshire-recount-in-the-interest-of-election-integrity/

Kucinich is asking for donations to pay for the Democratic Primary recount
http://www.dennis4president.com/go/homepage-items/help-defend-the-integrity-of-our-voting-system/

CONCLUSION:

Is the suspicious pattern in New Hampshire's Democratic primary
results caused by voting machine counting? We have no clear idea,
because we have no confidence in the unaudited machine vote counting
process. Knowing how easy it is to corrupt machine-counted election
results, it is appalling that New Hampshire and other states do not
routinely conduct post-election manual checks of the accuracy of
machine vote counts. Human mistakes and worse are inevitable, and
without routine post-election measures to detect and correct mistakes,
and without public oversight over security and chain of custody of
ballots, inaccurate vote counts and incorrect election results are
inevitable.

The full analysis of the National Election Data Archive is available
at ElectionArchive.org
http://electionarchive.org/ucvData/NH/DemPrimary2008-PairedPrecinctStudy.pdf


QUESTIONS THE PRESS COULD ASK DURING EACH ELECTION ARE:

Does this state conduct any publicly observable post-election
independent manual counts to check the accuracy of machine counts?
(This would require voter-created, or at least voter-checked, paper
ballots.)

Were the detailed vote count data and raw polling data made publicly
available immediately after the election for analysts to detect any
possible suspicious patterns?

Were the invisibly-machine-counted vote counts checked, audited,
provably correct?

Is there public oversight over chain of custody procedures for
election records and ballots?

What are the state's procedures for securing paper ballot and election
records; and how may the public participate?


DATA AVAILABLE FOR ANALYZING THE NEW HAMPSHIRE JANUARY 8, 2008 PRIMARY
ELECTION RESULTS

Another Statistical analysis which reaches the same conclusions as the
National Election Data Archive, with links to vote count data
http://call-with-current-continuation.blogspot.com/2008/01/statistical-exploration-of-new.html

New Hampshire Secretary of State Web Site
http://www.sos.nh.gov/presprim2008/index.htm

2008 New Hampshire Republican & Democratic Primary Results
http://ronrox.com/paulstats.php?party=REPUBLICANS
http://ronrox.com/paulstats.php?party=DEMOCRATS

The type of voting method each town uses:
http://www.bbvdocs.org/NH/state/Jan-08-votingsystems-NH.txt
http://www.sos.nh.gov/voting%20machines2006.htm

National Election Data Archive
http://electionarchive.org/ucvData/NH/

Pre-election opinion polls:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/nh/new_hampshire_democratic_primary-194.html

Note: No exit poll data was publicly released after the election
unless it had been adjusted to match the final unofficial vote counts.
I.e. No public exit poll data is available to use to judge the
accuracy of the election results as occurred after the 2004
presidential election.

CNN Exit poll info:
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/epolls/index.html#val=NHDEM

FOX News Exit Polls: Women and Seniors Like Clinton
http://youdecide08.foxnews.com/2008/01/08/fox-news-exit-polls-independents-like-obama-mccain/


SOME OTHER ARTICLES ON THE NEW HAMPSHIRE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY ELECTION

NY Times on the planned NH recount on
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/11/candidates-push-for-a-nh-recount/

Keith Olberman Covers the Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMJB4OCE1fo

Diebold Again: Did Hillary Really Win New Hampshire?
by Dave Lindorff
http://baltimorechronicle.com/2008/011108Lindorff.shtml

New Hampshire to Recount Ballots in Light of Controversy
by Kim Zetter January 11, 2008
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/01/new-hampshire-t.html

Do NH Primary Statistics Show Election Fraud?
http://salonesoterica.wordpress.com/2008/01/09/do-nh-primary-statistics-show-election-fraud/

Informative article w/ good links to exit poll info
http://www.margieburns.com/blog/_archives/2008/1/9/3455407.html

Diebold favors Hillary, hand count for Obama
http://presscue.com/node/38034

Election Integrity Questioned in New Hampshire - Dennis Kucinich
formally requests recount
By Michelle Wolski, Epoch Times Florida Staff
http://en.epochtimes.com/news/8-1-11/63935.html

Electronic voting machine results questioned in New Hampshire primary
Dan Kaplan
http://www.scmagazineus.com/Electronic-voting-machine-results-questioned-in-New-Hampshire-primary/article/104145/

Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/story/73551/

Primary Concerns - Hoisting a few red flags about the elections
by Robert C. Koehler, Tribune Media Services, January 10, 2008
http://www.commonwonders.com/archives/col429.htm

Ben Mosley's Blog
http://benmoseley.blogspot.com/2008/01/do-nh-primary-statistics-show-election.html

Analysis of Hand-counted versus Diebold-counted Precincts
http://i4.tinypic.com/823g1mt.gif

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/rahmainepugh/CWg

Where Paper Prevailed, Different Results, By Lori Price
http://www.legitgov.org/nh_machine_vs_paper.html

PLEASE DONATE

US Count Votes, DBA National Election Data Archive urgently needs your
donations if it is to continue its work to try to obtain public
oversight over the integrity of election results via mandatory routine
vote count audits and public access to election records and election
data, and public oversight over ballot security procedures. Donating
money to get out the vote efforts, to political candidates, or to
efforts to educate voters on issues, makes little difference if votes
are not accurately counted. NEDA can not continue its efforts without
funding.

http://electionarchive.org/fairelection/donate.html

THANK YOU. PLEASE PASS ON THIS ANNOUNCEMENT.

CONTACT: Kathy Dopp kathy@electionarchive.org 435-658-4657

--

Kathy Dopp, Executive Director, The National Election Data Archive

P.O. Box 682556
Park City, UT 84068
phone 435-658-4657

http://utahcountvotes.org
http://electionmathematics.org
http://electionarchive.org

History of Confidence Election Auditing Development & Overview of
Election Auditing Fundamentals
http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/History-of-Election-Auditing-Development.pdf

Vote Yes on HR811 and S2295
http://electionmathematics.org/VoteYesHR811.pdf

Voters Have Reason to Worry
http://utahcountvotes.org/UT/UtahCountVotes-ThadHall-Response.pdf

1 Comments:

  • At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    NH: Curious Results May Be Vote Tampering
    Posted by: "Johannes Ernharth" liberty@ernharth.com ernharth2000
    Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:54 am (PST)
    More Questions About Diebold Voting Machines
    Did Hillary Really Win New Hampshire?

    By DAVE LINDORFF
    http://www.counterpunch.org/lindorff01112008.html

    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.

    What has had eyebrows raised is a significant discrepancy between the
    vote counts done by voting machine, and the ones done by hand.

    In New Hampshire, 81 per cent of the voting was done in towns and
    cities that had purchased optical scan machines from the Diebold
    Election Systems (now called Premiere Election Solutions), a division
    of Diebold Corp., a company founded by and still linked to wealthy
    right-wing investors. In those towns, all voting was done on the
    devices, called Accuvote machines, which read paper ballots completed
    by voters who use pens or pencils to fill in little ovals next to the
    candidate of their choice. The ballots are then fed into, read, and
    tallied by the machines. The other 19 per cent of voting was done in
    towns that had opted not to use the machine, and to use hand-counted
    paper ballots instead.

    The machine tally was Clinton 39.6 per cent, Obama 36.3 per cent -
    fairly close to the final outcome. But the hand-counted ballot count
    broke significantly differently: Clinton 34.9 per cent, Obama 38.6 per
    cent.

    Could something have happened in those machines to shift some votes
    away from Obama or some of the other candidates in the race, and over
    to the Clinton total?

    If all the votes cast had split the way the hand counts split, Obama
    would have won New Hampshire by over 10,000 votes, instead of losing
    to Clinton by about 5500 votes.

    "My suspicion is that nothing untoward happened here," says Doug
    Jones, a professor of computer sciences at the University of Iowa and
    a member of the board of examiners that approved the use of the same
    Diebold optical scanning machines in Iowa. "But at the same time, the
    Diebold machines are vulnerable to viruses that can be spread through
    the machines by the PCMCIA memory cards, and there are other things
    that can go wrong too. I'd be much happier if they had a routine
    random audit procedure in New Hampshire."

    A random audit, he says, would involve doing hand counts of some
    towns' optical scan ballots, and comparing those results with the
    results of the machine reading of those same ballots, as recorded
    election night.

    While California does conduct such random audits as a matter of
    course, most states, including New Hampshire, do not. According to the
    New Hampshire Secretary of State's office, any recount of ballots
    would have to be requested by a candidate, and would have to be paid
    for by the candidate making the request.

    An official in the press office of Obama's campaign in Chicago,
    contacted on Wednesday, claimed not to know about the discrepancy
    between the machine and hand-counted ballots. She said that there was
    no plan to call for a hand count of machine ballots.

    As Prof. Jones notes, requiring a candidate to initiate any hand count
    makes such hand counts unlikely, since unless the evidence of vote
    tampering or fraud is overwhelming, such a call would open the
    candidate to charges of "poor loser."

    Kucinich, in making his recount request, resolved that problem.

    There is good reason to be suspicious of the results. The counting of
    the machine totals, in New Hampshire as in all states using the
    Diebold machines, is handled by a private contract firm, in this case
    Massachusetts-based LHS Associates, which controls and programs the
    machines' memory cards. Several studies have demonstrated the ease
    with which the memory cards in the Accuvote machines can be hacked,
    with some testers breaking into the system in minutes.

    There are, to be sure, alternative quite innocent possible
    explanations for the discrepancy between the machine and hand votes
    for Clinton and Obama. All the state's larger towns and cities, like
    Nashua, Concord and Portsmouth, have gone to voting machines. While
    there are many small communities that have also opted for machines, it
    is almost exclusively the smaller towns and villages across the state
    that have stayed with hand counts-most of them in the more rural
    northern part of the state. So if Obama did better than Clinton in the
    small towns, and Clinton did better in the large ones, that could be
    the answer.

    But that explanation flies in the face of logic, historic voting
    patterns, and most of the post ­election prognosticating.

    If it is true that there was "behind the curtain" racism involved in
    people saying to pollsters that they were for Obama, while privately
    voting against him, surely it would be more likely that this would
    happen in the isolated towns of northern New Hampshire where black
    people are rarely to be seen. Clinton was also said to have fared
    better among people with lower incomes-again a demographic that is
    more prominent in the rural parts of the Granite State. Finally,
    Obama, in New Hampshire as in Iowa, did better among younger voters,
    and that is the demographic group that is typically in shorter supply
    in small towns, where job opportunities are limited. Furthermore, in
    Iowa, it was in the larger municipalities that Obama fared best, not
    in the rural towns, so how likely is it that his geographic appeal
    would be reversed in New Hampshire?

    David Scanlan, New Hampshire's deputy secretary of state for
    elections, whom I contacted Thursday, said that while town election
    officials are required to do test runs of the Diebold machines in the
    days before an election, "to make sure that they are reading the
    ballot markings accurately," and that at that point the machines and
    the memory cards are sealed until the actual election day, there is no
    way for his office to independently conduct a post balloting test. The
    ballot boxes are sealed and the only way they can be opened if for a
    candidate to request (and pay for) a manual recount, or for a court to
    order one." Scanlan says that the same is true for the voting machines
    and the memory cards. While the sealed ballots are retained "for
    years," however, the memory cards will be back in the hands of the
    contractor, LHS Associates, in "a few months," to be erased and
    prepared for use in the general election next November.

    Scanlan says that the state legislature is currently considering
    legislation to provide for routine audits of machines after elections,
    but that won't help this election cycle.

    Scanlan said that because the machines are freestanding, there is no
    chance of their being hacked from the outside, but critics note that
    the hacking can be done in advance to the memory cards, which can pass
    changes to each other like a virus as each is programmed for a
    particular election.

    Jonathan Simon, an attorney and co-founder of the group Election
    Defense Alliance, says that the vote discrepancies between machine and
    hand counts in New Hampshire's Democratic primary are troubling, and
    defy easy explanation.

    "The trouble is, whenever you have a surprise result in an election,
    and it runs counter to the polls, the media always say the problem is
    the polling, not the counting." But he adds, "The thing is, these
    things always work in one direction-in favor of the more conservative
    candidate, and that defies the law of quantum mechanics."

    Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the
    Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His book of CounterPunch columns
    titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage
    Press. Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment",
    co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

    He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

     

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