It's the New Hampshire Primary
(c) 2004-06 Rand Careaga/salamander.eps
"1st in the Nation" with Corporate Controlled,
Secret Vote Counting
By Nancy Tobi
Introduction. The more things stay the same, the worse they smell
Tomorrow's New Hampshire primary represents a major turning point in the presidential primaries. We've got the rising star of Obama, the stunned Clinton camp, and the populist efforts of the fast moving Democrat, John Edwards, just off a 9% increase in the national polls. At this juncture, the Republican race is less compelling unless you happen to be John McCain or Mitt Romney.
Does Obama's highly favorable corporate media image stack up against reality? Is this the end of Hillary, or at least the beginning of the end? Can Edwards kick in the door with a strong showing and demand coverage? Will Ron Paul embarrass Giuliani by edging him out for fourth?
We'll never know for sure.
Why? It's been nearly eight years since the debacle of Florida and nearly six since the miracle Chambliss win against Cleland. Surely we have reliable, verifiable voting systems in place? It's been almost four years since the nationwide disaster of the 2004 election with irregularities still emerging.
Hasn't all this been fixed?
You'd think so. But, the answer is definitely no. Votes are still taken by voting machines produced by vendors highly sympathetic to the Republican Party. The machines are still off limits to those who want to examine how they operate and observe real vote counting. And good luck if your candidate loses and there's fraud or voting machine problems suspected.
You're out of luck. You can't hire outside experts to look at the mission critical software in the optical scanners (Sec. 1.5). You'll have a great deal of difficulty examining the paper records with voter marked choices. Don't count on seeing any recounts either. Almost all the states have high hurdles before you can request and get one of these simple verification tools (See Appendix 2).
Even with a relatively accommodating state like New Hampshire, only candidates can request a recount, but recounts are almost unheard of in presidential primaries. Citizens are not allowed to request and get recounts in the "granite state."
We may have 'paper records' with the paper forms counted by New Hampshire's optical scan voting machines, all made by Diebold. We surely don't have access to those forms unless there's a recount. The presence of 'paper records' with optical scans means nothing if citizens can't examine them directly; if citizens can't request and get a recount quickly. It's all in the hands of the candidates and parties despite the fact that the election belongs to the citizens.
Here's voting rights activist Nancy Tobi with an incredibly succinct analysis of New Hampshire's primaries and the 81% of votes counted by Diebold optical scanners.
NH: First in the Nation with Corporate Controlled Secret Vote Counting