Monday, December 31, 2007

Voter Fraud

As the meetup coordinator for New Hampshire, I wanted to update everyone on the efforts of the campaign to make sure the election is free from any fraud, and votes are counted accurately. There are a lot of posts and e-mail going around about this, so I thought it would be good for people to hear something from the folks on the ground and closest to the campaign. I have been talking to the NH campaign manager about this issue, and he has in turn been discussing it with national. They are taking the issue quite seriously, contrary to the rumors floating around the internet.

First, I have done hand counts here in NH in the past, with my kids sitting by my side. I know the folks in my town take the accuracy of the count quite seriously, and we normally have numerous volunteers to count the votes. Each table has two people so they can double check each other. The hand counts are a very transparent process, and this is what is used in about half the communities.

The other half use scanning machines, NOT the all-electronic machines. A paper trail is required in New Hampshire. So the person will fill out a paper ballot, and insert it into the machine to be counted and registered. If there is an error, it is spit back out, giving the person an opportunity to fix the mistake. All the paper ballots are put into a box and kept on file for 60 days (see RSA 659:95 - for possible recounts. It is my understanding that many communities go ahead and hand count that night to double-check the scanning machines. These machines are NOT hooked up by modem.

The campaign has plans for the day of the primary that will help ensure a clean vote AND maximize the number of people that turn out. The best thing supporters in New Hampshire can do is to volunteer with the campaign to work the day of the primary, all day and into the evening. Working for other groups rather than the campaign will only dilute our efforts and risk destroying all the hard work us NH residents have made starting as far back as March. There are hundreds of polling locations - we need everyone's help if we want to cover as many as possible. Having half the people work for the campaign, and half for other groups will mean we can only cover half the polling locations.

There have been a lot of nasty things said about the official campaign. Having worked closely with the campaign since they began in NH, I find this extremely frustrating. Several of these people I worked with prior to the official campaign starting, and they are great hardworking people who want Dr Paul to win. In NH, the grassroots supporters and the campaign have had a great working relationship, and there is no need to destroy that.

No comments: