Citing "unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots," Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said Jan. 10 he wants a recount of the Jan. 7 New Hampshire primary vote.
In a letter to N.H. Secretary of State William M. Gardner, Kucinich, who finished fifth among the Democrats with 3,901 votes, said the wide disparities between various "independent" pre-election polls and the actual election results also prompted his request for a recount.
"I am not making this request in the expectation that a recount will significantly affect the number of votes that were cast on my behalf," Kucinich said in the letter. "The integrity, credibility and value of independent polling are separate issues, but they appear to be relevant in the context of New Hampshire's votes."
Kucinich, a long-time champion of paper ballots, said the recount was necessary to ensure the confidence of American voters that their votes counted.
"Ever since the 2000 election-and even before-the American people have been losing faith in the belief that their votes were actually counted," the Ohio congressman wrote. "This recount isn't about who won 39 percent [or] 36 percent or even 1 percent. It's about establishing whether 100 percent of the voters had 100 percent of their votes counted exactly the way they cast them."
Kucinich also said he would pay the $2,000 required for a recount.
"New Hampshire is in the unique position to address-and, if so determined, rectify-these issues before they escalate into a massive, nationwide suspicion of the process by which Americans elect their president," he said. "Based on the controversies surrounding the presidential elections in 2004 and 2000, New Hampshire is in a prime position to investigate possible irregularities and to issue findings for the benefit of the entire nation."
In an interview with the Associated Press, N.H. Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said Kucinich is entitled to a recount, but Scanlon said he has "every confidence" the results are accurate.
Noting that New Hampshire's e-voting machines are not linked in any way, Scanlon said, "Perhaps the best thing that could happen for us is to have a recount to show the people that ... the votes that were cast on election day were accurately reflected in the results."
Kucinich, who has trailed significantly in the national polls since he announced his presidential campaign, left New Hampshire in a swirl of controversy. In addition to his recount demand, he complained bitterly about being left out of the Jan. 5 ABC News/Facebook national televised debate among Democratic candidates.
In addition to frontrunners Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, the debate also included New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who trails Kucinich in Facebook supporters. After the New Hampshire primary, Richardson dropped out of the race.