Monday, February 18, 2008

Noticing New Hampshire

Over the weekend, and from out of my peripheral vision, the New Hampshire Primary Election recount got my attention. Republican Presidential Candidate Albert Howard continues to press ahead, revealing much about what went wrong on January 8th. Excerpts from his most recent communique, a Petition of Appeal filed with NH Secretary of State William Gardner, are shown below. But first, let me take you back to the 11/29/07 post here at WDNC, talking about impeachment coming out of NH:

With a few weeks gone by now, I don't really see that Kucinich's welcome bravado did anything to shift control of the impeachment issue. Worth noting, though, is this statement by New Hampshire State Representative Betty Hall. While I don't consider her endorsement of Kucinich's presidential candidacy to be too relevant, she goes much further by introducing her own impeachment resolution in the NH House.

At least two things are significant about this. First, while it may take a few months, NH law guarantees this resolution will get a full floor vote - it cannot be killed in committee. The other important part of this development is that Hall's resolution was drafted primarily by Paul Lehto, election protection attorney, co-founder of, and the author of the Foreword to my book, We Do Not Consent (free .pdf download). The genius Lehto displays here is connecting the necessity of impeachment with the absolute destruction of legitimate elections. The final paragraph of the resolution:
That, for directly harming the rights and manner of suffrage, for suffering to make them secret and unknowable, for instituting debates and doubts about the true nature of elections, all against the will and consent of local voters affected, and forced through threats of litigation, the actions of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney to do the opposite of securing and guaranteeing the right of the people to alter or abolish their government, being a violation of an inalienable right, and an immediate threat to Liberty, is good cause for impeachment to be immediately granted.
Of the dozens if not hundreds of good causes for impeachment, this one may be the oldest chronologically if we go back to November and December 2000.
I had a voice message from Lehto earlier this evening saying he was en route to NH to testify for Rep. Hall. He also pointed me to this DU thread containing this video about the resolution and its courageous carrier.

Truly outstanding! Both above and below...

* * *
Excerpts from:

Petition of Appeal, noted violations and weaknesses in NH recount cited below

Petition of Appeal to the Ballot Law Commission
c/o Office of the Secretary of State, William Gardner
State House
Concord, New Hampshire 03301

by Albert Howard, Republican candidate for President of the United States
New Hampshire Primary Election of January 8th, 2008
Date: February 15, 2008
Petitioner: Albert Howard, Pro Se 710 Apple St. Ann Arbor, MI 48105-1750

Subject of Petition: Appeal of results of the Presidential Primary recount completed February 11, 2008; examination of contested ballots in that recount.

Relief Requested: That the Ballot Law Commission and the Secretary of State's office disclaim any opinion on the accuracy of the Presidential primary election AND the statewide Republican recount because checks and balances to maintain the integrity of the ballots and the total counts were either not followed, or not in place.


VIOLATION #1: Machine failures were handled improperly -- and possibly altered the outcome of the election.


Town clerks have told Dori Smith, a journalist from Connecticut, that memory cards were "switched out" in some towns by LHS employees, counter to state election laws, calling into question the chain of custody of these critical "electronic ballot boxes".


VIOLATION # 2: Machine failures render equipment non-compliant with HAVA regulations.

Fact: HAVA requires that the error rate of machines used be no greater than one error in 500,000 ballot positions. In one of the most recent tests, at the University of Connecticut, the Diebold Precinct-Based Optical Scan Accuvote 1.94W system (AV OS), demonstrated a failure rate of roughly 3.4 %. This puts New Hampshire in an unfortunate situation and the integrity of its election results in question. I urge the Ballot Law Commission and the Secretary of State's office to seriously consider restoring elections utilizing 100% hand counted paper ballots. The fundamentals are in place for a meaningful and transparent election. The Diebold Optical Scan equipment you currently use is indeed problematic due to its proven vulnerabilities and inaccuracies. Diebold itself issued a Product Advisory Note about this machine on January 25, 2008 describing a known failure.

REMEDIAL ACTION REQUESTED: The very best thing New Hampshire could do is decertify the current equipment and find alterative means of vote counting. I strongly recommend hand counting all of the ballots. New Hampshire has established such an excellent system for community vote-counting, and the hand count method - especially the sort and stack method as was used for the recounts --that has time and time again proven to be the most accurate and by far the least costly method of counting citizens' votes.


VIOLATION #3: The location of the memory cards post-election were reported "unknown".


VIOLATION #4: The boxes of ballots were not picked up for the recounts by State Police.


VIOLATION #5: Ballots were not stored and transported in boxes provided by the Secretary of State's office.

Fact: Boxes arrived at the State Archive Building for the recount in non-uniform boxes, with various methods of taping, many not properly sealed. One jurisdiction sent their ballots in bundles wrapped in newspaper. Others came wrapped in brown paper. Some boxes came with no tape. Many ballots were returned in the same boxes in which they were received from the printer/Secretary of State's office, but this led to some ambiguity about when and by whom openings in the boxes had been made.


VIOLATION #6: Many ballot boxes were not properly sealed, and what were referred to as "seals" would not safeguard the ballots from tampering.

Fact. "Seals" meant to secure the boxes were in fact "labels"; they did not stick securely to the boxes, could be easily removed and re-attached, and left no evidence of having been removed and reattached from the box on which they'd been placed. As such they were not "seals" to the boxes; in order for the ballots to be secure, real tape was needed to bind the boxes. Many ballot boxes were delivered to the State Archive Building for recounting with tops not secured and with slits in them large enough for a hand to fit through.


VIOLATION #7: The uncounted ballots were not always kept overnight in the security of the "ballot vault."


VIOLATION #8: Ballots were not always delivered in an open and public manner.

Fact. On many days of the recount, ballots were delivered after the recount had ended for the day, after dark, when most of the employees were gone from the building, and their delivery was not witnessed by any member of the public or citizen monitors.

# # #
Wow. Just wow. It is time we all start noticing New Hampshire.


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Posted by Dave Berman - 11:29 PM | Permalink
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