On Tuesday, I attended a recount at the State Archives in Concord on the Libertarian Party primary ballot after it became clear that someone, somewhere had failed to tally the write-ins for Manchester Ward 11 correctly. I am humbled by the support shown by Libertarian voters who wrote me in, and look forward to appearing in the general election as both the Republican AND Libertarian candidate for District 20. Watch video.
Here’s a recap of what happened:
MANCHESTER, NH: In a twist that could only happen in New Hampshire politics, Carla Gericke, Republican candidate for NH State Senate, today [Tuesday, 9/18] won a Libertarian Party primary recount.
Carla Gericke (46) is running for State Senate in District 20 against a ten-term Democratic incumbent, Lou D’Allesandro (80). Gericke ran against him in 2016, garnering 40% of the vote, a respectable showing for a relatively unknown candidate. “I can win,” Gericke said, “but every vote must be counted.”
“Election integrity matters. I filed for the recount because on the morning of the primary, I was told by several voters leaving Ward 11, where I own a home and where I was poll standing at the time, that they had written me in on the Libertarian ballot. When the Ward 11 moderator read the results at the day’s close, she clearly stated there were 30 write-ins for State Senate on the LP ballot. Imagine my surprise when the Secretary of State’s results showed only one write-in for Ward 11. I had a duty to investigate.”
The NH Secretary of State’s official write-ins tallies for Carla Gericke on the LP ballot in District 20 were as follows with today’s official recount tallies indicated like —-> [THIS]:
Goffstown —-> 5 —-> [FIVE]Manchester Ward 3 —-> 4 —-> [FOUR]Manchester Ward 4 —-> 5 —-> [FIVE]Manchester Ward 10 —-> 4 —-> [FOUR]Manchester Ward 11 —-> 1 —-> [TWENTY-NINE]TOTAL RECOUNT FINAL TALLY = 47
New Hampshire election laws allow for what is colloquially referred to as “fusion candidates,” meaning qualifying candidates can appear on the ballot as the candidate for more than one party in the general election. Candidates need at least 35 primary votes to be fused in this manner. In the general election, votes from each party are added together for a grand total for fused candidates.
“This creates an opportunity for me to win by picking up votes from Libertarians who would not otherwise vote for me,” Gericke said.
The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire gained ballot access after getting 4% of the vote in the 2016 general election. In the 2018 primary, some people encouraged Libertarian Party voters to write-in Carla Gericke for State Senate in District 20 as the position was unfilled.
“I am concerned by the fact that we received reports of problems with voters accessing Libertarian Party ballots across the state,” said Chip Spangler, Chair of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire. “I am thankful this recount was completed, but all voters deserve to know that their ballots will be counted properly.”
“This whole recount in some ways raises more questions than it answers,” Gericke said. “What went wrong? New Hampshire voters are concerned about election fraud, and we must trust that our moderators and election officials are doing their jobs right. Today, the Secretary of State’s office helped rectify something that should not have happened to start with, and I appreciate that, but I hope more care is applied at the polling stations during the general election. Every Granite Stater deserves to get his or her vote properly counted, regardless of party affiliation.”
Here’s Manchester Ink Link’s take, "Recount elevates Gericke to fusion candidate".