Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kucinich asks for New Hampshire recount

One more stray follow-up to the New Hampshire primary (Associated Press):
CONCORD, N.H. - Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who won less than 2 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary [on January 8], said Thursday he wants a recount to ensure that all ballots in his party's contest were counted.

The Ohio congressman cited "serious and credible reports, allegations and rumors" about the integrity of Tuesday results.

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said 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. [....]

Kucinich alluded to online reports alleging disparities around the state between hand-counted ballots, which tended to favor Sen. Barack Obama, and machine-counted ones that tended to favor Sen. Hillary Rodham 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 [....]
If Kucinich's campaign can come up with the money to pay for this recount, then he will have done us all a great favor. (So if people outside his campaign want to contribute funds for this purpose, that would be a good deed, too.)

As I understand it, all votes in the January 8 New Hampshire primary were entered on paper ballots, though about half of them were tabulated with optical scanners, so there is a complete paper trail. And an official recount would entail counting all the ballots all by hand.

A full hand recount might help dispel any lingering suspicions about whether the results of the primary were produced by machine-tampering or some other form of electronic vote-rigging. (Or hypothetically, I guess, if there was significant fraud--not totally out of the question, some argue--then we would find that out.) It's a no-lose proposition, and we should all be grateful to Kucinich for taking this initiative.

--Jeff Weintraub

Update 1/17/2008: Well, it seems they're doing the recount. Elwood Dowd at Daily Kos is going to keep up a running report. First results HERE.

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