Monday, January 21, 2008

More on Clinton's win in New Hampshire

From OpEdNews via BradBlog:

"On January 10, 2008, analysts at the Election Defense Alliance (EDA) reported that based on the official results on the New Hampshire Secretary of state web site, there was a remarkable relationship between Obama and Clinton votes, when you look at votes tabulated by op-scan v. votes tabulated by hand in a head-to-head contest between the two candidates:

INCORRECT AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED: New Hampshire 2008 Democratic Primary Analysis (using voting method data as-of November 22, 2007)

CategoryVotesClinton vs. Obama percentage
Clinton: statewide optical scan tally91,71752.95%
Obama: statewide optical scan tally81,495 47.05%

Clinton: statewide hand-count tally20,889 47.05%
Obama: hand count23,509 52.95%


While the actual difference between Obama and Clinton hand count and optical scan margins are not a mirror image of each other to four decimal places as we had initially believed, the undeniable fact is that Obama appears to have carried the hand-counted tally statewide, while Clinton carried the optical scan statewide tally, by almost exactly opposite margins remains a remarkable result.


CORRECTED New Hampshire 2008 Democratic Primary Analysis (using voting method data updated on November 26, 2007)

Head to Head

Clinton v. Obama Pre-election polling


Head to Head Clinton vs. Obama percentage

Clinton: statewide optical scan tally95,84352.73%

Real Clear Politics (2)Average[2]

1/5 – 1/7/08:

Clinton 43.9%Obama 56.1%

Obama: statewide optical scan tally85,910 47.27%

Clinton: statewide hand-count tally16,767 46.75%
Obama: hand count19,097 53.25%


It would appear that there is at least circumstantial evidence that would point to the need for further investigation as to whether Clinton's and Obama's votes have been swapped by the voting machines. I wonder what stage Dennis Kucinich's formal request for a recount is currently at?

Of further interest is that the company that programs the voting machines in New Hampshire allegedly has a convicted drug trafficker working as its director of sales and marketing. Dori Smith guest blogging at Brad blog had this to say about company in November last year:

"LHS has proven to be less than agreeable to concerns about the voting systems they distribute across New England. Recently, their Director of Sales and Marketing, Ken Hajjar left a surprising comment in reply to a BRAD BLOG story about Diebold. Hajjar's impolitic comment began "Dear Brad, you are totally full of shit." He went on to charge, "You have no idea how elections are conducted and how many safeguards are in place, including human oversight," before referring to Election Integrity advocates as "paranoid" and "deluded".

Unfortunately, the comments were not out of character from previous interviews I'd done with him...

A few minutes later, when asked who would be on site, to either repair or replace the machines if there were problems during elections, Hajjar said, "Either a representative of the town or a representative of the vendor." He then explained, in some detail, about how they would open machines, in apparent violation of state law, to change memory cards during the elections.

Other LHS staff members we spoke with, including Mike Carlson and Tom Burge, provided similar comments. They said they would open machines up during an election and swap memory cards as needed. This is illegal under Connecticut law and Deputy Secretary Mara told us she has since informed LHS that such actions were in violation of Connecticut election laws.

In 2006, as Hajjar argued in favor of their policy to change cards during elections, I asked him about about the laws which govern chain of custody issues. His response: "I mean, I don't pay attention to every little law. It's just, it's up to the Registrars. All we are is a support organization on Election Day".

He said he had three memory cards in the trunk of his car and, in the event they had to be used, the chain of custody issues wouldn't matter since, "once you run the [pre-election] test deck through, you're golden"

"We would have a whole bunch of machines in the trunk in the car and we hope the phone doesn't ring, but if it does somebody tells us where to go, we replace the machine and then we go on our merry way," he declared...

Ken Hajjar's bluntness finally caught up with him this year. Following his less-than-appropriate comments at The BRAD BLOG, he has informed by Connecticut officials that he is no longer welcome to work in the state."

Thanks to Fergus O'Rourke for the pointer on the New Hampshire numbers.

Update: The statisticians have got to work on the potential e-vote conspiracy/cock-up here and are offering several plausible alternative explanations as to why the relative hand and computer counts came out the way they did.

"An analysis by The Associated Press' Election Research and Quality Control service found that Clinton led Obama by about 6 percentage points in machine-counted towns, where she earned 53 percent of the vote and Obama earned 47 percent. Obama led Clinton by about 8 percentage points in hand-counted towns, where he earned 54 percent of the vote and Clinton earned 46 percent.

Joe Lenski, executive vice president of Edison Media Research, one of two firms that conduct election exit polling for The AP and television networks, said those numbers fit the pattern.

"Since Florida 2000 there've been all sorts of theories out there, about Florida in 2000 and of course about Ohio in 2004. And I think certain people who are dissatisfied with the results are going to jump to this conclusion in any race that they're not satisfied with," Lenski said Friday. "And they're looking for one piece of evidence that's going to be convincing."

"If you do a little more statistical digging, you find out that this isn't proving what they think it's proving. It's a pattern that's been around for years," he said...

Lenski said it's all of a piece: Education, income and age -- factors that influence voters' candidate choices, also play into where they choose to live."

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