February 23, 2008
NH Vote Recount Report by WTP
Optical Scan Machines Violate Federal
With an interest in defending the
individual’s constitutionally guaranteed Right to have and
to know that his vote is being accurately counted,
this Foundation determined the 2008 New Hampshire Primary
recount offered an excellent, real-world opportunity to
independently assess the statistical performance of optical
scan, electronic vote counting machines relative to hand
counting of ballots.
WTP has just completed its analysis of the
data. Our principal findings are as follows.
Of the 347, 905 total ballots processed
during the recount 305,207 (87.7%) came from towns and
cities that use machines to count the votes, and 42,619
(12.3%) came from towns that use People to count the votes.
New Hampshire’s vote counting machines violate federal
accuracy standards. New Hampshire’s machines experienced an
error rate approximately 163 times greater than the error
rate allowed under federal Election Law.
The probability that an individual’s vote
was accurately counted during the Primary was much greater
if his vote was counted by hand than by machine.
Statewide, taking into consideration all the
ballots that were included in the recount, the number of
machine counts that were in error by more than 2 votes was
9.81 times greater than the number of hand counts that were
off by more than 2 votes. The number of machine counts that
were in error by more than 1 vote was 3.37 times greater
than the number of hand counts that were off by more than 1
We identified 38 instances of apparent fraud
where votes were being hand counted.
We were not able to determine if intentional
or unintentional error was behind the more substantial
discrepancies in machine counts. Nor were we able to
determine the impact of the 21 machines that failed on
Primary Day, or if other machine failures occurred but were
not reported to the Secretary of State’s office.
In brief, the analysis data supports the
conclusion that not only are machine counts of votes much
more likely to result in error, but the machine errors are
of a significantly larger magnitude and variance than those
observed for hand counting.
When the much higher frequency of
machine-counted errors is coupled with the statistically
disturbing magnitude of the machine errors, it is not
unreasonable to conclude that the use of optical scan
machines to count votes has robbed many citizens of New
Hampshire of their Right to Vote and their Right to have
their Vote counted accurately.
Our analysis of the state’s data and election practices
suggest that there are numerous steps that the government of
New Hampshire can take to bolster the integrity of its
election process - whether votes are counted by hand or by
machine. Although hand-counting of votes is clearly not yet
a perfected art, in keeping alive the practice of
hand-counting, New Hampshire has served its citizens well.
Beyond this, the state should not subject its People to
further enduring electronic voting machines that grossly
fail to meet even the minimal accuracy standards mandated by
We hope our analysis has provided some much needed light
onto a matter that substantially affects the future of
freedom in New Hampshire - and our entire Republic.
here to access the full
Report and the supporting
As announced previously, Bob Schulz
will be in speaking in Concord, MA this Sunday, Feb. 24. at
He will have a limited number of copies of the report
Click here for an
event flyer (.pdf). The meeting will be held
Sunday, Feb. 24, Noon - 3 PM
4848 Monument Square
Concord, MA 01742
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