Recount - Is Dennis Kucinich walking into a trap?
The election integrity community is abuzz with news that candidate Dennis Kucinich will ask for a recount in New Hampshire, and Ron Paul fans have been pushing him to recount as well. Careful.
NEW HAMPSHIRE ELECTION INTEGRITY ADVOCATE NANCY TOBI IS CORRECT:
"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. Now all we hear is how the Nader recount validated the machines."
As Tobi says, "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."
I'll go further than that. The only way a recount makes any sense at all in New Hampshire is AFTER an assessment is made of the chain of custody issues. If the chain of custody isn't intact the recount won't be worth a cup of warm spit.
"This is high stakes.
"You do not walk into a battle ground not knowing where the snipers are, just because you were invited. Strategically, going into something like this where you have NO CONTROL is foolishness.
"And I say this as one of the strongest recount proponents of former times. Things I have come to learn and understand have changed my mind. The recount is someone else's game, not ours.
"In the recount, we have no control, and we have already lost 48 long hours of ballot chain of custody oversight.
"We need citizen control and oversight. This is not going to come from the recount. If the election was rigged...don't you think the riggers would have a backup Plan B for a rigged recount, knowing how easy it is to get a recount in NH?
No. It is time to take control. "
BLACK BOX VOTING:
The following is excerpted from our New Hampshire election protection information published in November 2007:
Knowing that the greatest opportunities for election fraud are with insiders, this tells us something about what to examine first. If you are a person with inside access in New Hampshire, because any candidate can ask to recount any location, if you plan to manipulate the election you'll want to make sure you can achieve ballot substitution, ballot removal, or ballot stuffing. You need a strategy just in case someone asks for a hand count.
WHAT'S THE POINT OF A RECOUNT IF THE CANDIDATE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW...
1) The name of all companies that print ballots for New Hampshire elections.
2) The ballot ordering history for each location, especially those using computerized voting systems and the inventory records for the current contest.
3) The ballot chain of custody plan for each location and for the state of New Hampshire.
- We don't have information on ballot inventory records.
- With ballots and recounts, it's all about blocking ballot substitution. To achieve substitution, you need extra ballots. If you get more ballots, someone might follow the money trail and ask you why you're sitting on 10,000 or so blank ballots. So you need some workarounds.
BALLOT CHAIN OF CUSTODY WAR STORIES
Patriot Richard Hayes Phillips, while writing his brilliant upcoming book "Witness to a Crime," uncovered evidence that an Ohio County took delivery on 10,000 off-the-books ballots in 2004.
Employees for the Diebold ballot printing plant slipped us financials showing that Diebold was printing 25% more ballots than ordered. This could be handy: If a governmental entity doesn't take official delivery on ballots, Plan B can sit at a print house somewhere, on private property and absent from either government bookkeeping or public records.
The Diebold ballot printing plant at the time we got records on the overages, was being run by a convicted felon who had spent four years in prison on a narcotics trafficking charge. No, not New Hampshire's voting machine programming exec Ken Hajjar, who cut a plea deal in 1990 for his role in cocaine distribution. This was another convicted felon, John Elder, who ran the Diebold ballot printing plant; he's now an elections consultant.
We have so far been unable to learn whether New Hampshire has convicted felons printing their ballots; we've got a records request in on this. New Hampshire officials like to say "The state prints the ballots" but they sure aren't printed in Secretary of State Bill Gardner's office.
Frank S., one of the new breed of citizens jumping in to take back control of our elections, took the initiative on his own to help today by spending several hours trying to find the ballot printer in NH. It may be that convicted felons print the ballots: Frank turned up evidence that one state-paid printing vendor is NHCI - New Hampshire Correctional Industries, a prison-based printing outfit.
New Hampshire Correctional Industries is a job training program for inmates. After they get out of prison they have a skill! I'm not sure we want a bunch of ex-convicts running around in New Hampshire with ballot printing expertise, so I hope a different ballot printing vendor will show up.
Any candidate seeking a recount needs to know this stuff.
IDENTIFY NARROW SPOTS IN THE PIPELINE
What is the smallest number of people with access, and at what points does centralization of access occur?
WHERE HAVE THE BALLOTS BEEN DURING THE LAST 48 HOURS
If there's going to be a recount of this magnitude, we need to know whether checks and balances have been followed. Let me give you an example of what I mean: In San Mateo County, California, citizen Brent Turner asked for ballot chain of custody records for 2007; a six-week gap in the access logs was revealed in the documents.
SHOULD CANDIDATES RECOUNT NEW HAMPSHIRE?
In concept I love the idea, but as it currently stands, it makes me queasy. They're walking into this blind about the details that make or break the integrity of the process.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD
Tobi calls for doing a real investigation in order to take corrective action by November. I'm not sure about that. New Hampshire had hearings on the hackable Diebold optical scan machines, and didn't take any action to mitigate the risks.
New Hampshire knew it was running elections on machines that can't be trusted. And today, thanks to the efforts of two more citizen volunteers, I learned that the New Hampshire Secretary of State knew about the narcotics trafficking conviction of Ken Hajjar, yet still authorized LHS to code every memory card in New Hampshire.
Harri Hursti himself testified in New Hampshire in Sept. 2007, urging them to disconnect the wiring allowing reprogramming of the memory card through the modem port. New Hampshire took no action.
New Hampshire didn't take even the half-step actions other states used to beef up voting machine security.
Maybe there are better ways to skin this cat.
THE IDEA OF A RECOUNT STILL INTRIGUES ME BUT...
At this moment I can't think of a way to offset the chain of custody unknowns. The last thing we want is a recount that doesn't answer our questions, or raises new suspicions that aren't answered.
There must be a way. It's been a long day. Let me think on that.
Click to view image: '139699-anhvote.jpg'
Tags: Ron Paul, Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, Obama, Rudy Giuliani. John McCaim, Republican, Candidates, Election, CNN, Fox News, Debate Polls, Polls, President, race, New Hampshire, Iowa, primaries, primary,
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