**** Important update below ****
**** Correction by John Charlton, November 27, 2:30 PM ET ****
From The Gouverneur Times.
“Impossible Numbers Certified in NY-23
Written by Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 15:32”
“The election results certified by the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections for New York’s 23rd Congressional District contain some numbers that are mathematically impossible. These numbers were requested in person and transmitted by e-mail just hours before certification on Tuesday, November 24th, 2009.
For six election districts in St. Lawrence County (the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th districts in Canton, the 14th district in Massena, and the 2nd district in Oswegatchie) negative numbers appear in the column for “blank” ballots, known in other states as “undervotes.”
Blank vote counts are ballots in which the voter did not choose any candidate in a given election and are determined by subtracting the total number of votes cast for the candidates from the number of voters who completed ballots. The remaining number would be those voters who didn’t cast a vote for that election.
In Canton’s 7th district, the certified results show a total of 148 ballots cast. The results of those votes were counted as 88 votes for Owens, 11 votes for Scozzafava, and 80 votes for Hoffman. The problem is that these numbers add up to 179 votes counted for the candidates, and there were only 148 ballots cast; St. Lawrence County certified these numbers to the state as accurate with the number of ‘blank’ ballots reported as -31.
The Board of Elections stated repeatedly that their numbers add up, and strictly speaking, they do. But negative numbers should not be required to make this happen.
Election analysts refer to this phenomenon as “phantom voters,” because they are apparitions. They do not actually exist. There can never be more votes counted for any office than the number of actual voters who cast ballots. There could be one or two, if on occasion an actual voter forgot to sign the poll book, but never 31.”
“Fundamentally, the fault does not lie with the Board of Elections, although perhaps they should have noticed the negative numbers before certifying them. The fault lies with computerized vote counting and our willingness to trust it.
It has already been reported that zero votes were incorrectly reported in numerous precincts in Jefferson, Madison, and Oswego Counties for one of the Congressional candidates, and that voting machine failures occurred in dozens of polling places in at least three different counties.
In St. Lawrence County, ballots from eight polling places had to be hand counted due to voting machine failure. Machines in Louisville, Waddington, Clare, and Rossie “broke” early in the voting process on Election Day. Republican Commissioner Deborah Pahler said that the machines kept “freezing up… like Windows does all the time”. Machines in Hermon, Lawrence, Colton’s 2nd district, and Massena’s 1st and 2nd districts failed to print the results. Frank Hoar, an attorney for the Democratic Party, initially ordered the impoundment of malfunctioning machines but released the order on November 5th so that Bill Owens could be sworn in to Congress in time to vote on the House health bill on November 7th.
Electronic vote counting is much too vulnerable to failure and/or manipulation. If a mechanical (lever-style) machine breaks down, the failure is visible, and only the one machine is affected. With electronic vote counting, one person can change the outcome of an election and not leave a trace. This has been shown over and over again in scientific studies, including those commissioned by the Secretaries of State in California and Ohio.
But more than that, how can we have a democracy if we cannot know if the vote count is accurate? If election officials cannot know, and if the candidates cannot know, and if the voters cannot know that the official results are true and correct, why even have an election? Why go through the motions?”
Several days ago, as I am prone to do, I read the New York State Election statutes. Before the election in 2008 I read almost half of the 50 states election laws. Here are some of those statutes regarding voting irregularities. Read them and decide if any of them apply to the chicanery that has taken place.
” § 17-106. Misconduct of election officers. Any election officer who
wilfully refuses to accord to any duly accredited watcher or to any
voter or candidate any right given him by this chapter, or who wilfully
violates any provision of the election law relative to the registration
of electors or to the taking, recording, counting, canvassing, tallying
or certifying of votes, or who wilfully neglects or refuses to perform
any duty imposed on him by law, or is guilty of any fraud in the
execution of the duties of his office, or connives in any electoral
fraud, or knowingly permits any such fraud to be practiced, is guilty of
§ 17-108. False affidavits; mutilation, destruction or loss of
registry list or affidavits. 1. Any person who wilfully loses, alters,
destroys or mutilates the list of voters or registration poll ledgers in
any election district, or a certified copy thereof, is guilty of a
2. An applicant for registration who shall make, incorporate or cause
to be incorporated a material false statement in an application for
registration, or in any challenge or other affidavit required for or
made or filed in connection with registration or voting, and any person
who knowingly takes a false oath before a board of inspectors of
election, and any person who makes a material false statement in a
medical certificate or an affidavit filed in connection with an
application for registration, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
3. A person who shall wilfully suppress, mutilate or alter, or, except
as authorized by this chapter, shall destroy, any signed challenge or
other affidavit required for or made or filed in connection with
registration or voting, and any person who, except as authorized by this
chapter, shall remove such an affidavit from the place of registration
or polling place, is guilty of a felony.
4. A person other than the applicant who, prior to the filing of the
application, shall willfully suppress, mutilate, materially alter, or,
except as authorized by this chapter, destroy a signed application for
registration by mail, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
§ 17-120. Misconduct in relation to certificate of nomination and
official ballot. A person who:
1. Falsely makes or makes oath to, or fraudulently defaces or destroys
a certificate of nomination or any part thereof; or,
2. Files or receives for filing a certifiate of nomination, knowing
that any part thereof was falsely made; or,
3. Suppresses a certificate of nomination which has been duly filed,
or any part thereof; or,
4. Forges or falsely makes the official indorsement of any ballot; or,
5. Having charge of official ballots, destroys, conceals or suppresses
them, except as provided by the law. is guilty of a felony.
§ 17-124. Failure to deliver official ballots. Any person who has
undertaken to deliver official ballots to any city, town or village
clerk, or inspector as authorized by this chapter, and neglects or
refuses to do so, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
§ 17-128. Violations of election law by public officer or employee. A
public officer or employee who knowingly and wilfully omits, refuses or
neglects to perform any act required of him by this chapter or who
knowingly and wilfully refuses to permit the doing of any act authorized
by this chapter or who knowingly and wilfully hinders or delays or
attempts to hinder or delay the performance of such an act is, if not
otherwise provided by law, guilty of a felony.
§ 17-130. Misdemeanor in relation to elections. Any person who:
1. Acts as an inspector of election or as a clerk at an election,
without being able to read or write the English language, or without
being otherwise qualified to hold such office; or,
2. Being an inspector of election, knowingly and wilfully permits or
suffers any person to vote who is not entitled to vote thereat; or,
3. Wilfully and unlawfully obstructs, hinders or delays, or aids or
assists in obstructing or delaying any elector on his way to a
registration or polling place, or while he is attempting to register or
4. Electioneers on election day or on days of registration within one
hundred feet, as defined herein, from a polling place. Said prohibition
shall not apply to a building or room that has been maintained for
political purposes at least six months prior to said election or
registration days, except that no political displays, placards or
posters shall be exhibited therefrom. For the purposes of this section,
the one hundred feet distance shall be deemed to include a one hundred
foot radial measured from the entrances, designated by the inspectors of
elections, to a building where the election or registration is being
5. Removes any official ballot from a polling place before the closing
of the polls; or,
6. Unlawfully goes within the guard-rail of any polling place or
unlawfully remains within such guard-rail after having been commanded to
remove therefrom by any inspector of election; or,
7. Enters a voting booth with any voter or remains in a voting booth
while it is occupied by any voter, or opens the door of a voting booth
when the same is occupied by a voter, with the intent to watch such a
voter while engaged in the preparation of his ballot, except as
authorized by this chapter; or,
8. Being or claiming to be a voter, permits any other person to be in
a voting booth with him while engaged in the preparation of his ballot,
except as authorized by this chapter, without openly protesting against
and asking that such person be ejected; or,
9. Having lawfully entered a voting booth with a voter, requests,
persuades or induces such voter to vote any particular ballot or for any
particular candidate, or makes or keeps any memorandum of anything
occurring within the booth, or directly or indirectly, reveals to
another the name of any candidate voted for by such voter; or,
10. Shows his ballot after it is prepared for voting, to any person so
as to reveal the contents, or solicits a voter to show the same; or,
11. Places any mark upon his ballot, or does any other act in
connection with his ballot with the intent that it may be identified as
the one voted by him; or,
12. Places any mark upon, or does any other act in connection with a
ballot or paster ballot, with the intent that it may afterwards be
identified as having been voted by any particular person; or,
13. Receives an official ballot from any person other than one of the
clerks or inspectors having charge of the ballots; or,
14. Not being an inspector of election or clerk, delivers an official
ballot to a voter; or,
15. Not being an inspector of election, receives from any voter a
ballot prepared for voting; or,
16. Fails to return to the inspectors of election, before leaving the
polling place or going outside the guard-rail, each ballot not voted by
17. Wilfully defaces, injures, mutilates, destroys or secretes any
voting maching which belongs to any municipality or board of elections
for use at elections, and any person who commits or attempts to commit a
fraud in the use of any such voting machine during election; or,
18. Not being lawfully authorized, makes or has in his possession a
key to a voting maching which has been adopted and will be used in
19. Not being an inspector or clerk of election, handles a voted or
unvoted ballot or stub thereof, during the canvass of votes at an
20. Intentionally opens an absentee voter’s envelope or examines the
contents thereof after the receipt of the envelope by the board of
elections and before the close of the polls at the election; or,
21. Wilfully disobeys any lawful command of the board of inspectors,
or any member thereof; or
22. Induces or attempts to induce any poll clerk, election inspector,
election coordinator, or officer, clerk or employee of the board of
elections discharging any duty or performing any act required or made
necessary by the election law, to do any act in violation of his duty or
in violation of the election law; or,
23. Not having been appointed or named an inspector of elections or
clerk and not having taken the oath for such office shall wear or
display any button, badge or emblem identifying or purporting to
identify such person as an inspector of election or clerk, is guilty of
§ 17-136. False returns; unlawful acts respecting returns. An
inspector or clerk of an election who intentionally makes, or attempts
to make, a false canvass of the ballots cast thereat, or any false
statement of the result of a canvass, though not signed by a majority of
the inspectors, or any person who induces or attempts to induce any such
inspector or clerk to do so, is guilty of a felony.
§ 17-148. Bribery or intimidation of elector in military service of
United States. Any person who, directly or indirectly, by bribery,
menace or any other corrupt means, controls, or attempts to control an
elector of this state enlisted in the military service of the United
States, in the exercise of his rights under the election law, or annoys,
injures or punishes him for the manner in which he exercises such right,
is guilty of a misdemeanor.
§ 17-166. Penalty. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor under this
article shall for a first offense be punished by imprisonment for not
more than one year, or by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars
nor more than five hundred dollars, or by both such fine and
imprisonment. Any person who, having been convicted of a misdemeanor
under this article, shall thereafter be convicted of another misdemeanor
under this article, shall be guilty of a felony.
§ 17-168. Crimes against the elective franchise not otherwise provided
for. Any person who knowingly and wilfully violates any provision of
this chapter, which violation is not specifically covered by any of the
previous sections of this article, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
§ 17-170. Destroying or delaying election returns. A messenger
appointed by authority of law to receive and carry a report, certificate
or certified copy of any statement relating to the result of any
election, who wilfully mutilates, tears, defaces, obliterates or
destroys the same, or does any other act which prevents the delivery of
it as required by law; and a person who takes away from such messenger
any such report, certificate or certified copy, with intent to prevent
its delivery, or who wilfully does any injury or other act in this
section specified, is guilty of a felony.
NY State Election Statutes:
**** Update ****
John Charlton of The Post & Email has provided some important facts.
“15,620 Missing Votes are disturbing
Let’s take a look at each race, considering simply the total votes counted, and comparing this to the total votes in the Congressional race on the same ballot:
For the State Supreme Court race: 39, 969 votes
For the NY-23 Special Election: . . . . 24, 349 votes
For County Coroner: . . . . . . . . . . . . 29, 664 votes
District Attorney: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 541 votes
These are the races which all used the same 102 voting machines. Since the entire county voted for each race you’d expect nearly identical numbers, if there were identical interest in the different races. And while that nearly never happens, the Owen-Hoffman-Scozzafava race was surely the most followed in the national and local press.
That 15,620 more votes were cast in the State Supreme Court Race than in the Congressional Race, seems simply unbelievable. That means that nearly 40% of the voters who voted, cast no vote in the Congressional Race! Unbelievable!”
**** Correction by John Charlton, November 27, 2:30 PM ET ****
“4,200 Votes in the NY-23 race are questionable
Let’s take a look at each county-wide race, in St. Lawrence Country, considering simply the total votes counted, and comparing this to the total votes in the Congressional race on the same ballot:
For the NY-23 Special Election: . . . . . 24, 349 votes
For the State Supreme Court race: 39, 969 votes or potentially 19,986 votes*
District Attorney: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 541 votes
For County Coroner: . . . . . . . . . . . 29, 664 votes or potentially 14,832 votes*
These are the races which all used the same 102 voting machines. Since the entire county voted for each race you’d expect nearly identical numbers, if there were identical interest in the different races. And while that nearly never happens, the Owen-Hoffman-Scozzafava race was surely the most followed in the national and local press.”