NH Recount Report 2008 (when NH citizens learned that ballots had been exempted from public records law)

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Deborah Sumner

Dec 3, 2017, 11:16:27 AM12/3/17
to jaffre...@googlegroups.com
This report was drafted by citizen observers, many of who came from out of state, to observe the 2008 Presidential Primary Recount.

It says what many other people have said. The actual recount overseen by the NH Secretary of State's office was exemplary.

However, it also documents evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that we had an extremely poor ballot chain of custody for ballots, and when errors were found, there didn't seem to be any interest from members of the Executive branch in 1) correcting them 2) make them less likely to occur in the future.

See the end for recommendations, many of which still need to be implemented.

This is when we in NH learned that ballots had been exempted from public records law. Here is Bev Harris in an online conversation that included Deputy NH Secretary of State David Scanlan in 2011:

Bev Harris statement in response to Deputy of State David Scanlan's post,  May 6, 2011
source:http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/8/81673.html?1306262743 (link no longer works)

"...in the 2008 primary recount, we observed what appeared to be a ballot washing operation, wherein solvent was being used with open boxes of ballots - a process which will remove ink from ballots so that they can be remarked. For this reason, I requested to examine the ballots under right to know and was told I could not due to this offending amendment....Had I been allowed to inspect the ballots, the use of ink solvent could have been detected.

"Indeed, in the 2008 recount, a set of ballots were recounted with a marking anomaly, indicating that the same ballot had been xeroxed over and over. Had we been allowed to inspect the ballots in that box, this would have been apparent. However, when these repeat copies of a marking anomaly appeared, all in a row, and observers asked to stop the counting to examine these ballots, we were told ballots can only be seen once according to the rules. (Nothing in the rules lets you go back and look at the same ballots again, we were told)."

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