New Hampshire to recount primary vote

January 11, 2008 6:11:46 PM PST
New Hampshire officials said Friday they will conduct a hand recount of the state's Democratic and Republican presidential primaries at the request of two minor candidates. Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who received less than 1.4 percent of the vote, and Republican Albert Howard of Michigan, who received about 44 votes statewide, are expected to pay a $2,000 fee to start the process, state officials said.

"Mr. Howard has satisfied the requirements for initiating a statewide recount of the Republican primary," Secretary of State William Gardner said in a statement. Officials said they expected a check from Kucinich to arrive late Friday, satisfying his requirements for the request.

Gardner is preparing an estimate of the recount's cost, which the requesting candidates must pay before it will begin. He said he expects to start the recount Wednesday, and will announce further details once the payments have been received.

Under state law, if a candidate finished more than 3 percentage points behind the winner, the candidate must pay the cost of a recount. The cost is refunded if the recount finds the requester won or finished within 1 percentage point of the winner.

The last time New Hampshire did a statewide recount of the results of the presidential primary was in 1980.

Kucinich sent a letter to Gardner Thursday requesting the recount, citing "serious and credible reports, allegations and rumors" about the integrity of the primary results.

The top vote-getters in Tuesday's primary were Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, with 39 percent and Republican Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, with 37 percent.