Monday, February 18, 2008

ELECTION IRREGULARITIES: Reported "Zero" Count or Undercount of Obama Votes in Some NY Precincts Raises Questions

The Democratic party is again facing questions about its handling of the primary process in some precincts in New York City, where initial "unofficial" tallies reported zero votes for Sen. Barack Obama, of Illinois, rival of local junior senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for the party's presidential nomination. The undercounts appear to represent severe distortions of the actual tally, and occurred in areas where Obama's support rivaled Clinton's.

The question has been raised by several party leaders as to how any candidate could be expected to have received zero votes and why the problem was not corrected sooner. Some have suggested the extreme error points to the unlikelihood of wrongdoing, while others allege some sort of conspiracy to steal enough votes to add one or two delegates to the Clinton tally. There is no evidence of any campaign operatives being involved.

The New York Times has reported that its own review of election night tally reporting "found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district."

Their report also found that some of these contests were close enough that one or two votes could sway the precinct. "In the Harlem district, for instance, where the primary night returns suggested a 141 to 0 sweep by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the vote now stands at 261 to 136. In an even more heavily black district in Brooklyn — where the vote on primary night was recorded as 118 to 0 for Mrs. Clinton — she now barely leads, 118 to 116."

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