PayPal accused of blocking funds meant for NH Recount – unknown if recount will occur in Rep. race.

BREAKING

By Brian Boyko
Contributor, [GAS]

UPDATE: Op-Ed News reports that the N.H. Sec. of State has recieved a check for $55,600 from a single anonymous doner to the Howard campaign, and the both the Democratic and Republican N.H. primary recount will proceed. [GAS] has not yet independently verified this information.

The Diebold Accuvote-OSThe future of a recount in N.H.’s Republican Primary is uncertain – possibly because of PayPal, Inc.

By now, most people have heard of the drive by Dennis Kucinich’s campaign that is raising funds for a recount of the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, which has been marred by accusations of electronic voting fraud from the AccuVote optical ballot scanners, made by Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold.) But few know about Republican candidate Albert Howard’s call for a recount of the New Hampshire Republican Primary.

A quick rundown of the issue for the uninitiated: It turns out that voters in New Hampshire whose votes were counted by the AccuVote system were more likely to vote for Clinton than Obama, where in hand-counted precincts, the reverse was true. The prevailing theories are A) Larger cities in New Hampshire were both more likely to use voting machines and more likely to vote Clinton, or B) The voting machines screwed up. However, the voting machines in New Hampshire are only vote scanners, not touchscreen voting machines. That means that there is a paper trail, and it is this paper trail that will be getting the recount.

In order for there to be a recount in New Hampshire, candidates were required to, essentially, put $2000 down and pay for a significant portion of the full cost of the recount by the 15th of January – yesterday, so that the recount can happen today. According to workers in the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office, Kucinich has paid about $27,000 – a little less than half of the total projected cost of the recount.

Albert Howard has also paid $2000 down, and through the work of a number of groups, including the “Granny Warriors,” a group nominally supporting Ron Paul, it looked like Howard had raised at least $40,000 for the recount via the PayPal service. However, PayPal froze the account, and they have not been able to get the money out of the account before the January 15th deadline, according to a spokesman for the Granny Warriors.

Though details are sketchy at this point, an unconfirmed report states that PayPal froze the account when a $1000 donation came through the service. This doesn’t seem that farfetched, as there have been previous occasions in which PayPal arbitrarily froze funds for obscure reasons.

The Granny Warrior spokesman who I talked to urged me to quickly get off the phone because they were busy waiting for a phone call on the line to resolve this situation.

Speaking with the same worker at the NH Secretary of State’s office, I was told that a Democratic recount was likely to occur, and that the fate of the Republican recount was uncertain.

This is a breaking story and we’ll try to have more updates with more detail as more information becomes available.

Related Story: Network Performance Daily

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33 Responses to PayPal accused of blocking funds meant for NH Recount – unknown if recount will occur in Rep. race.

  1. But the settlement also imposes other restrictions on PayPal, says Eric Gray, who operates PayPalSucks.com, and that's the real good news. Now, PayPal will have to detail its fraud case to the consumer when the firm freezes an account.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5550334/

    Are they violating these settlement terms?

  2. But the settlement also imposes other restrictions on PayPal, says Eric Gray, who operates PayPalSucks.com, and that's the real good news. Now, PayPal will have to detail its fraud case to the consumer when the firm freezes an account.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5550334/

    Are they violating these settlement terms?

  3. I’d like to make a couple of points, please.

    The first is a question: What’s the point of a recount in a non-binding “primary” election? What a waste of money.

    The second for your kind consideration, and much more important, is that PayPal is evil, evil, evil, and I beg everyone to not use this dastardly soul-sucking service. I haven’t used Ebay since it partnered up with PayPal. I’ve setup my hosts file so that neither PayPal or Ebay can be accessed from my home computer.

    Die, PayPal, die!

    • “What’s the point of a recount in a non-binding “primary” election?” – if fraud can be proven, we might be able to remove certain types of voting machines from a real election, where it matters.

    • HSO: “What’s the point of a recount in a non-binding ‘primary’ election?”
      Actually, the New Hampshire Primary is indeed very binding.

      Each primary determines the number of delegates sent to the national conventions of the parties. In other words, the results from primaries, such as the one from New Hampshire, determines who gets to be the nominee for President of the United States.

    • Blog owners have to use paypal to either get paid by certain companies, or pay their writers… That’s life, and unfortunately, we can’t do much about it.

      • Is PayPal really the only option to pay your writers? Are there no other feasible on-line alternatives that your writers would accept? Perhaps paying by check is out of the question?

        Oh, well. I suppose you’ve got to survive / do business, but what a shame. Very sorry to hear it.

        • I’ve offered Kiltak the option of mailing me a check. Me, I find PayPal is okay so long as I never tie it to my accounts and never have more than $100 in there at any time.

  4. I'd like to make a couple of points, please.

    The first is a question: What's the point of a recount in a non-binding "primary" election? What a waste of money.

    The second for your kind consideration, and much more important, is that PayPal is evil, evil, evil, and I beg everyone to not use this dastardly soul-sucking service. I haven't used Ebay since it partnered up with PayPal. I've setup my hosts file so that neither PayPal or Ebay can be accessed from my home computer.

    Die, PayPal, die!

    • Blog owners have to use paypal to either get paid by certain companies, or pay their writers… That's life, and unfortunately, we can't do much about it.

      • Is PayPal really the only option to pay your writers? Are there no other feasible on-line alternatives that your writers would accept? Perhaps paying by check is out of the question?

        Oh, well. I suppose you've got to survive / do business, but what a shame. Very sorry to hear it.

        • I've offered Kiltak the option of mailing me a check. Me, I find PayPal is okay so long as I never tie it to my accounts and never have more than $100 in there at any time.

    • "What’s the point of a recount in a non-binding “primary” election?" – if fraud can be proven, we might be able to remove certain types of voting machines from a real election, where it matters.

    • HSO: "What’s the point of a recount in a non-binding 'primary' election?"

      Actually, the New Hampshire Primary is indeed very binding.

      Each primary determines the number of delegates sent to the national conventions of the parties. In other words, the results from primaries, such as the one from New Hampshire, determines who gets to be the nominee for President of the United States.

  5. The recount is to find the biggest loser in the NH primaries?

    And no one has yet to prove fraud in any election involving electronic voting machines.

    • Not exactly, PatB.

      The recount is to ensure that there is no fraud in the NH primaries involving the electronic voting machines.

      You’re absolutely right, no one has yet to prove fraud in any election involving electronic voting machines, but that is partially because the electronic voting machines are neither tamper-proof nor tamper-evident. (While it is accepted that paper ballots certainly are not tamper-proof, they do tend to be tamper-evident)

      In layman’s term, with touchscreen voting machines, there is no way to verify the information.

      The New Hampshire Recount is particularly important because New Hampshire uses electronic machines to -count- the votes, but there remains a paper trail. Essentially, the Accuvote-OS acts like a big scantron machine, scanning in votes. I happen to like optical scanning machines as they can save time and effort but I do not think they should be the be-all and end-all, and a recount ensures that the Accuvote-OS, which is not tamper-proof, hasn’t been tampered with.

      I highly suspect that the number of votes for each candidate will not change with this recount, that said, it’s still a good idea to verify the accuracy of the vote.

  6. The recount is to find the biggest loser in the NH primaries?

    And no one has yet to prove fraud in any election involving electronic voting machines.

    • Not exactly, PatB.

      The recount is to ensure that there is no fraud in the NH primaries involving the electronic voting machines.

      You're absolutely right, no one has yet to prove fraud in any election involving electronic voting machines, but that is partially because the electronic voting machines are neither tamper-proof nor tamper-evident. (While it is accepted that paper ballots certainly are not tamper-proof, they do tend to be tamper-evident)

      In layman's term, with touchscreen voting machines, there is no way to verify the information.

      The New Hampshire Recount is particularly important because New Hampshire uses electronic machines to -count- the votes, but there remains a paper trail. Essentially, the Accuvote-OS acts like a big scantron machine, scanning in votes. I happen to like optical scanning machines as they can save time and effort but I do not think they should be the be-all and end-all, and a recount ensures that the Accuvote-OS, which is not tamper-proof, hasn't been tampered with.

      I highly suspect that the number of votes for each candidate will not change with this recount, that said, it's still a good idea to verify the accuracy of the vote.

  7. Look, the machines have already been accredited by agencies responsible for testing and verifying the accuracy of the machines. You say yourself you don’t think the votes will change, so what is the real point of the recount?

    The real point of the recount is to undermine the confidence of the voting public by candidates disputing the accuracy of the voting machines.

    The kooks need to stop raising a stink over machines that have been confidently accredited by the best agencies out there. Its bad for elections and its bad for democracy.

    • While the machines have been accredited by the state (certainly not “the best agencies out there”,) that does not mean that the state has accurately vetted or tested them, merely that they were able to get government approval. The machines are very controversial because many people believe that that approval has less to do with vetted accuracy and more to do with governmental kickbacks.

      I do not see how the point of the recount is to undermine the confidence of the voting public, for two reasons; first, the confidence of the voting public in electronic voting machines has already been undermined for years and a recount in this election does not undermine it nearly as much as multiple computer experts testifying under oath about the fact that the machines are both easy to tamper with and not tamper-evident.

      Second, if Kucinich and Howard were trying to undermine the confidence of the voting public in the accuracy of the voting machines, wouldn’t it make more sense for them to do merely imply the machines are inaccurate, instead of putting up tons of funds to find out whether or not they actually are? After all, as I said, it’s likely that the vote totals will be similar to the first count, but that doesn’t seem to be the point.

      • that does not mean that the state has accurately vetted or tested them, merely that they were able to get government approval

        No Bryan, you are incorrect. Do you honestly think that a state will just randomly place voting machines for the public to use without independently verifying their operation and security complies with standards such as FISMA and NIST publications? I know you understand risk assessments and procedures and how they work.

        You say that people do not trust voting machines because they fear it has more to do with government kickbacks than IA risk assessments and compliance? I wonder if that’s because hysterical bloggers post pieces that undermine the confidence in the voting process?

        Well, the Democrat recount is over. Nothing changed. Differences in the results were very minuscule, and well below the expected variance of the voting machines.

  8. Look, the machines have already been accredited by agencies responsible for testing and verifying the accuracy of the machines. You say yourself you don't think the votes will change, so what is the real point of the recount?

    The real point of the recount is to undermine the confidence of the voting public by candidates disputing the accuracy of the voting machines.

    The kooks need to stop raising a stink over machines that have been confidently accredited by the best agencies out there. Its bad for elections and its bad for democracy.

    • While the machines have been accredited by the state (certainly not "the best agencies out there",) that does not mean that the state has accurately vetted or tested them, merely that they were able to get government approval. The machines are very controversial because many people believe that that approval has less to do with vetted accuracy and more to do with governmental kickbacks.

      I do not see how the point of the recount is to undermine the confidence of the voting public, for two reasons; first, the confidence of the voting public in electronic voting machines has already been undermined for years and a recount in this election does not undermine it nearly as much as multiple computer experts testifying under oath about the fact that the machines are both easy to tamper with and not tamper-evident.

      Second, if Kucinich and Howard were trying to undermine the confidence of the voting public in the accuracy of the voting machines, wouldn't it make more sense for them to do merely imply the machines are inaccurate, instead of putting up tons of funds to find out whether or not they actually are? After all, as I said, it's likely that the vote totals will be similar to the first count, but that doesn't seem to be the point.

      • that does not mean that the state has accurately vetted or tested them, merely that they were able to get government approval

        No Bryan, you are incorrect. Do you honestly think that a state will just randomly place voting machines for the public to use without independently verifying their operation and security complies with standards such as FISMA and NIST publications? I know you understand risk assessments and procedures and how they work.

        You say that people do not trust voting machines because they fear it has more to do with government kickbacks than IA risk assessments and compliance? I wonder if that's because hysterical bloggers post pieces that undermine the confidence in the voting process?

        Well, the Democrat recount is over. Nothing changed. Differences in the results were very minuscule, and well below the expected variance of the voting machines.

  9. We need to collectively start our own electronic payment service to replace Pay Pay. There are millions of us. We could all pony up a small fee to get it off the ground then advertise our service as an HONEST electronic payment service as opposed to Pay Pal.

  10. We need to collectively start our own electronic payment service to replace Pay Pay. There are millions of us. We could all pony up a small fee to get it off the ground then advertise our service as an HONEST electronic payment service as opposed to Pay Pal.

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