Nader-Requested Recount Begins
Published on Thursday, November 18, 2004 by the Associated Press
Nader-Requested Recount Begins

CONCORD, N.H. -- A recount of some New Hampshire towns requested by independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader began Thursday, to check the accuracy of optical scan vote-counting machines.

Nader, who paid $2,000 for the recount, requested it for 11 of the state's 126 precincts that use Diebold Inc.'s Accuvote optical scanning machines to count paper ballots. The campaign said that depending on the results, it could ask for recounts in other states, as well.

Thursday's recount was expected to focus on five precincts in Manchester and Litchfield. Some of those overlap with a recount being done for a state Senate race. The other precinct recounts will be scheduled soon.

The Nader campaign didn't expect to change the outcome: In New Hampshire, Democrat John Kerry defeated President George W. Bush, 50 percent to 49 percent, while Nader got less than 1 percent from the state's 301 precincts.

However, the former consumer advocate wanted to address concerns that the machines are inaccurate or can be tampered with.

Backers urged Nader to request a recount after a statistical analysis posted on the Internet appeared to show that some New Hampshire precincts using the Accuvote machines gave Bush up to 15 percent more votes than had been expected on the basis of exit polls and the 2000 presidential vote.

State election officials have said that in past recounts, they have not found significant miscounts by Accuvote machines.

© Copyright 2004 The Associated Press