Saturday, January 12, 2008

Things that make you go, "Hmmmm"...

Contributed by Paul Collins:

Many of us have thought it. Some of us have spoken it.
"How could the Hew Hampshire polls have gotten it so wrong?"
Obama was ahead by as many as 13 points in the polls going into the New Hampshire primary.
Exit polls showed him to still have similarly strong support. Yet, Hillary squeaked by with a +2 point win.

Polls, of course, are an inexact science at best. And a surprise comeback is certainly possible in an election (there are those who have controversial theories about Hillary's teary moment contributing to that).

Still, though I'm not one for conspiracy theories, all of this does register a big "WTF?!?" in my mind.
Apparently I'm not alone. From Slash Dot:

Multiple indications of vote fraud are beginning to pop up regarding the New Hampshire primary elections. Roughly 80% of New Hampshire precincts use Diebold machines, while the remaining 20% are hand counted. A Black Box Voting contributor has compiled a chart of results from hand counted precincts vs. results from machine counted precincts. In machine counted precincts, Clinton beat Obama by almost 5%. In hand counted precincts, Obama beat Clinton by over 4%, which closely matches the scientific polls that were conducted leading up to the election. Another issue is the Republican results from Sutton precinct. The final results showed Ron Paul with 0 votes in Sutton. The next day a Ron Paul supporter came forward claiming that both she and several of her family members had voted for Ron Paul in Sutton. Black Box Voting reports that after being asked about the discrepancy Sutton officials decided that Ron Paul actually received 31 votes in Sutton, but they were left off of the tally sheet due to 'human error.

Boston Now reports:

In the Democratic race the Diebold voting machines clearly swung the primary in Hillary Clinton's favor at the expense of Barack Obama, who had a commanding lead over the New York Senator going into the contest.

Zogby polling numbers had Obama leading Clinton by a whopping 42/29 per cent, yet Clinton eventually took the primary by three per cent.

"If I was Barack Obama, I'd certainly not have conceded this election this quickly,"writes The Brad Blog. "I'm not quite sure what he was thinking. And as far as offering an indication of whether he understands how these systems work, and the necessity of making sure that votes are counted, and counted accurately, it does not offer a great deal of confidence at this hour."

"While I have no evidence at this time --- let me repeat, no evidence at this time --- of chicanery, what we do know is that chicanery, with this particular voting system, is not particularly difficult. Particularly when one private company --- and a less-than-respectable one at that, as I detailed in the previous post --- runs the entire process."

Clinton would not have beat Obama without the aid of Diebold voting machines. In precincts where electronic voting machines were used, Clinton got a 7% swing over Obama, having gained 5% in comparison to hand-counted ballots and Obama losing 2%.

Full Article)

Most of this is unsubstantiated buzz in the blogosphere, but it's loud enough that New Hampshire has apparently agreed to a recount.

Other links:
Kucinich to request recount (
Was the New Hampshire vote stolen? (
New Hampshire to Recount Ballots in Light of Controversy (

Experts skeptical of N.H. ballot-count conspiracy theory (Boston Globe)

Experts Question Clinton's New Hampshire Primary Win (
Bloggers form theory that New Hampshire vote was rigged (Dallas Morning News)
Vote Fraud Expert Warns Of New Hampshire Chicanery tracks developments

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