Saturday, February 16, 2008

New York's primary problems

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The New York Times is reporting that the initial counting of votes in some New York City precincts on Super Tuesday "understated" Obama's support:

Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem’s 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama.

That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night 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.

City election officials this week said that their formal review of the results, which will not be completed for weeks, had confirmed some major discrepancies between the vote totals reported publicly — and unofficially — on primary night and the actual tally on hundreds of voting machines across the city.

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.

The Board of Elections is blaming "human error," but, to me, this seems like a possibly more serious problem involving voting machines and the reporting of results. These are significant discrepancies, after all. Are accurate reports not being produced?

In the end, Obama may come out with an extra delegate or two, but at least the problem is being addressed.

Or not. Make sure to read The Brad Blog's take on this.

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