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Saturday, January 12, 2008

NH okays Kucinich recount. Kucinch has to pay,


The New Hampshire secretary of state will conduct hand recounts of Tuesday's Democratic and Republican primaries, reported Manchester, N.H., TV station WMUR.Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich and lesser-known Republican Albert Howard asked for the primary recounts.Kucinich, who received 1.4 percent of the New Hampshire primary vote said that he is asking for the recount because of what he says are unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots and rumors online of counting errors.
Kucinich said he doesn't expect the recount to affect the results.He alluded to online reports alleging disparities around the state between hand-counted ballots, which tended to favor Barack Obama, and machine-counted ones that tended to favor Hillary 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."It is imperative that these questions be addressed in the interest of public confidence in the integrity of the election process and the election machinery," Kucinich said in a written statement.Howard received 44 votes in the Republican primary, according to unofficial results released by the secretary of state's office.Secretary of State Bill Gardner said that Kucinich and Howard must pay for the recounts. State law allows a candidate to request a recount, but if the difference between votes received for the winner and the candidate requesting the recount is greater than 3 percent, the candidate must pay for the recount.If the candidate asking for the recount is then declared the winner or loses by less than 1 percent of the total votes cast, the cost is refunded by the state.Gardner said the last time New Hampshire did a statewide recount of the results of the presidential primary was in 1980.Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said his office had received several phone calls since Tuesday, mostly from outside the state, questioning the results. New Hampshire's voting machines are not linked in any way, which Scanlon says reduce the likelihood of tampering with results on a statewide level. Also, the results can be checked against paper ballots."I think people from out of state don't completely understand how our process works and they compare it to the system that might exist in Florida or Ohio, where they have had serious problems," he said. "Perhaps the best thing that could happen for us is to have a recount to show the people that ... the votes that were cast on election day were accurately reflected in the results. And I have every confidence that will be the case."

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