It’s time to check our election math

Friday, August 10, 2018 4:56PM
To the editor:

I’ve asked the Jaffrey Select Board to review ballots for at least one contest from the November 2016 election to make sure everything was okay. If it wasn’t, we can take steps to make sure the 2018 elections won’t have a similar problem.

Under our state constitution and election laws, local officials and citizens share the legal responsibility to make sure the count is right for our communities. We have tons of evidence that computer counts can be off, either through intentional programming or glitches. We should be checking it.

Before Jaffrey voters decided to purchase the (formerly Diebold) AccuVote computer in 2003, we were assured that if we had questions, we could always look at the ballots.

Later that year, the Deputy Secretary of State and then assistant Attorney General asked the legislature to exempt ballots from our public records law because a court had granted a petitioner access. Now, through my two attempts, the court said, in effect, hiding evidence of election fraud or significant error is a “political” decision of the legislature. That’s not my interpretation of our current election laws or constitution.

Taxpayers will pay either the town attorney or attorney general to argue against the public’s interest in election transparency and accountability. I need to raise from $10,000 to $15,000 to pay an attorney to represent us. $10 from 1,500 people will do it, with contributions repaid if the court awards attorneys’ fees. Please contact Protect the Count Jaffrey at ptcJaffrey@gmail.com with amounts of pledges only. I will let you know when/if the attorney needs to be paid.

Some day, NH will have elections our citizens and candidates for office have reason to trust. Please be part of that effort now.

Deborah Sumner