There's a History of Suspected Vote Fraud In NH - Forget 'Official
Recounts', Do Citizen Audits
By Lynn Landes 1/10/08
There are plenty of reasons not to trust New Hampshire election results,
particularly regarding Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (see:
). And, rumors are
flying around that Ron Paul may be considering a request for a recount.
My advice to Paul, Obama, and others? Don't waste your time. Instead,
audit New Hampshire's election results in select precincts where the results
appear particularly suspect.
If candidates or voters stand a chance of uncovering vote fraud, they must
do this themselves. They can't trust New Hampshire election officials to
conduct an honest recount. And, they certainly shouldn't trust the
Democratic or Republican organizations to take any action, either.
Consider, Clint Curtis (ClintCurtis.com). Curtis, from Florida’s 24th
Congressional District, was the first Democratic candidate to conduct a
Citizen Audit. What is a Citizen Audit? It's an effort by candidates
and/or citizens groups to verify election results by asking citizens to sign
affidavits stating for which candidates they voted. In
Clint's case, he discovered that the official election results of
November 2006 differed from his audit in the five precincts canvassed, by an
average of 16%! He took this information to the Committee on House
Administration, chaired by Philadelphia Democrat, Congressman Robert Brady,
whereupon the entire committee, both Democrats and Republicans, unanimously
voted not to investigate!
Consider New Hampshire's much ballyhooed recount system, where election
officials claim that they almost never find any problem with the voting
machines. But they wouldn't, would they? After all, their recount system
is after the fact, after the polls have closed and ballots have been
transported to a central facility. It's a system that allows plenty of time
to substitute real ballots with fraudulent ones. It's also interesting to
note that New Hampshire does not conduct election day audits at the polls,
as a rule. Now that's something that stands a chance of discovering fraud
And, consider New Hampshire's own history of producing questionable election
results. Remember Howard Dean? In a 2004 article, Questions
Mount Over New Hampshire's Primary, I wrote, "Martin
Bento published online an interesting analysis of New Hampshire's election
results based on the voting systems used. It's been getting a lot of
attention." According to Bento's analysis of state data, Howard Dean's
loss to John Kerry had a disturbing correlation to how votes were counted.
Below are the percentages by which Kerry’s vote exceeded Dean’s, grouped by
||% Margin of Victory
of Kerry over Dean
But, suspicion of vote fraud in New Hampshire's presidential primary goes
back further. In George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography,
by Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin, they wrote, "When Bush had
arrived in Manchester the night of the disastrous Iowa result, Sununu had
promised a nine point victory for Bush in his state. Oddly enough, that
turned out to be exactly right. The final result was 38% for Bush, 29% for
Dole, 13% for Kemp, 10% for DuPont, and 9% for Robertson. Was Sununu a
clairvoyant? Perhaps he was, but those familiar with the inner workings of
the New Hampshire quadrennials are aware of a very formidable ballot-box
stuffing potential assembled there by the blueblood political establishment.
Some observers pointed to pervasive vote fraud in the 1988 New Hampshire
primaries, and Pat Robertson, as we shall see, also raised this possibility.
The Sununu machine delivered exactly as promised, securing the governor the
post of White House chief of staff. Sununu soon became so self-importantly
inebriated with the trappings of the imperial presidency as reflected in his
travel habits that it was suggested that the state motto appearing on New
Hampshire license plates be changed from "Live Free or Die" to "Fly Free or
Die." In any case, for Bush the heartfelt "Thank You, New Hampshire" he
intoned after his surprising victory signaled that his machine had weathered
its worst crisis. http://www.tarpley.net/bush22.htm
I've been advising (sometimes begging) candidates and activists to conduct
audits (or Parallel Elections), since 2005. In 2006, I e-mailed every
Democratic congressional candidate urging them to audit. Last summer, I
went to the Democracy Fest in New Hampshire for the same purpose. The
conference was sponsored by Democracy for America (DFA). According to their
website: "As the chair of Democracy for America (DFA), Jim Dean is
committed to carrying on what his brother, Governor Howard Dean, started -
strengthening grassroots participation; and the recruitment and election of
fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates to all levels of
government. This is a long-term investment that will pay off if we are
willing to stand up for what we believe in and support candidates at every
level of political office."
At the conference Clint Curtis, Judy Alter, myself, and a few other
activists met with Jim Dean. We requested that he give our effort some much
needed publicity by adding our information to the curriculum, or at least
posting something on his website. We pleaded our case, pointing out that if
candidates didn't verity the vote count, what was the point of running for
office? Although polite, Jim Dean has, thus far, refused our request. You
would think he would know better, given his own brother's history.
I received the same reaction a few months later at the Claim Democracy
Conference in Washington, DC. It was another effort dedicated to candidate
training. And their organizers, like Jim Dean, also acted like they had
never considered the idea of checking up on the vote count in any other way,
but to request an official recount.
So, here we are again...in the dark as to what really happened. Let me be
clear about this. Vote fraud is not just about the machines. Election
integrity is about complete and total transparency. As long as we vote by
absentee (first allowed in the 1870's), secret ballots (introduced in the
1880's), and voting machines (in the 1890's), voters and candidates
alike will be sitting ducks for vote fraud. Our only good option, right
now, is the Citizen Audit. So, let's do it!
Lynn Landes is the publisher of TheLandesReport and a
freelance journalist who writes about politics, health, and the environment.
She's one of the nation's leading researchers and analysts on voting
integrity issues. firstname.lastname@example.org / 215-629-3553