Blogged by Brad Friedman from the road...
Republican New Hampshire primary candidate Albert Howard, whose election contest hand count is currently ongoing in Concord, once again demonstrates how to call for a legitimate and reconcilable "recount."
He has just sent us a copy of the following letter, which was hand delivered to NH Secretary of State Bill Gardner earlier today [emphasis in original]...
Secretary of State
State of New Hampshire
Dept. of State
107 N. Main St. Rm 204
Concord, NH 03301
Re: COUNTERS’ TALLY SHEETS
Dear Mr. Gardner:
I respectfully request a slight change in the recount procedure.
The people who are counting the votes are entering the results on individual ward and town tally sheets. They are all using pens with red ink. They then sign and walk the tally sheets to the front of the room where they are handed to a state employee.
The state employee says she checks for discrepancies before manually transposing the figures from the local tally sheets to a County-wide tally sheet, using the same red ink used by the counters. The state employee then enters the figures from her County-wide tally sheet into her computerized master recount file (an excel spreadsheet). Only then does the state employee make and hand me a copy of the counter’s tally sheet.
I wish to receive a copy of the tally sheet for each ward and town, before it is handed to the state employee. It is simply too easy for anyone to alter a figure(s) on a counters’ tally sheet in order to narrow or eliminate a discrepancy. Such evil could never be uncovered short of yet another statewide recount.
Please know that I have no reason to suspect anyone of such mischief. My purpose is merely to tighten up the procedure, in favor of the candidate, and to eliminate any temptation to commit such wrongdoing.
Very truly yours,
Albert B. Howard
Please note: We will be on the road for much of the rest of the day today, as we head from Santa Cruz back down to Los Angeles. We'll try to get caught up with things by tonight, as the SOTU rolls.
Thus we don't have time, for the moment, to give full background to the above story in this article. But plenty is already available, particularly in regard to concerns about chain of custody, and other sloppy "recount" procedures, from previous BRAD BLOG coverage.