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NH Recount Update: Ballot boxes found slit; NH stops putting ballots in vault

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Black Box Voting : Latest Investigations from Black Box Voting: 1-17-08: Ballot boxes found slit; NH stops putting ballots in vault;
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Posted by Bev Harris on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 10:48 pm:

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No worries, say New Hampshire officials when cuts up to eight inches
long are spotted in newly delivered ballot boxes. "The only seal that
counts is the one on top."

Except the seal on top can be peeled off without leaving a trace, then
reaffixed.

Black Box Voting has been doing a chain of custody exam for the New Hampshire Primary's recount. On Wednesday night, Election Defense
Alliance's Sally Castleman mentioned a troubling observation: After
following the ballots back to the ballot vault following Wednesday's
recount, she had the opportunity to enter the ballot vault, and
noticed what looked like cuts, or slits, in the side of many ballot
boxes. New Hampshire officials assured us that these cuts, which slice
through the tape, seals and box itself do not permit access to the
uncounted ballots, pointing to a label on the boxtop which they call a
seal.

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But the "seal" can be removed, like a Post-it, and reaffixed. So it's
not a seal all!

We wanted to know if the ballot boxes were slit while in the vault, in
the transport van, or came from the towns with slits in them.

I confirmed this morning that many if not most of the boxes scheduled
to be counted today had slits in them. I went out when a vanload of
ballots arrived, and saw that they were slit at the time they arrived
by van. Susan Pynchon and I drove to two nearby towns and watched as
they handed over their ballot boxes to "Butch and Hoppy", the two men
who drive around in the state in a van picking the ballots up. We
observed as they loaded boxes of ballots into the van with no slits at
all in them. We videotaped each of these up close. They arrived at the
destination without slits. The label on the top was affixed, but in
some cases was crumpled, or also damaged.

Of cource, the label affixed to the top can be removed and reattached
without telltale signs.

No vault tonight

A significant departure from the normal chain of custody path occurred
tonight. They decided not to use the vault to store the ballots.

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More tomorrow.

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Use this link to go directly to full article:
http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/show.cgi?1954/71404

 

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Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.

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