Letter: Moderator should sort and count votes

To the editor:

In my December letter to the editor, I asked: “How did we get from ‘sort and count’ votes in public and an oath to ‘support the constitution’ to a machine programmed by a corporation with no accountability to citizens and no verifiability of results?”

The answer is “follow the money.” It begins with federal HAVA legislation (authored by Ohio Rep. Bob Ney) passed in 2002, with heavy lobbying by the voting machine industry (including Jack Abramoff’s firm representing Ohio-based Diebold) and huge incentives (more than $20 million in NH) to privatize our elections.

Our NH Constitution and the oath election workers take to support it are the same, just no longer followed. The majority of voters in March 2012 Town Meeting said (63-25) that was okay.

But, did they say the moderator couldn’t “sort and count” votes in public to make sure the computer count is accurate for one or more questions?

Weather permitting, I’ll be on the library steps from 10 to 11 a.m. on Feb. 2 with a petition for the March 2013 Town Meeting that says:

“We the undersigned registered voters of Jaffrey have the right to know that our votes are counted accurately for every election. The moderator has a duty to ensure they are (RSA 659:60). We request the following article be added to the Town Meeting Warrant for 2013: To see if there is a “sense of the meeting” to direct our moderator to exercise his authority to hand count (publicly verify) one or more competitive/high profile questions, chosen at random after the polls close, in any town, school district, state or federal contest, and to make that total public. This is consistent with our constitution and RSA 659:63 “Counting to be Public.”

Deborah Sumner


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