Computer hackers may have been behind Hillary Clinton’s dramatic win in the New Hampshire primary, it was claimed yesterday.
One of her rivals in the race to be Democratic Party candidate in November’s presidential election is demanding a recount.
Mrs Clinton’s victory in Tuesday’s primary – one of a series of votes by individual states to pick each party’s candidate – confounded the polls and revived her campaign.
Dennis Kucinich, an outsider in the battle for the Democratic nomination, cited “serious and credible reports, allegations and rumours” about the integrity of the surprise result.
Poll after poll predicted Mrs Clinton would be trounced by Barack Obama.
Experts started questioning the count almost as soon as the votes began to roll in.
“Something stinks in New Hampshire,” a commentator posted on the popular site Americablog.com.
“It’s simply unprecedented for so many polls to have been so wrong,” said Gary Langer, polling director at ABC News. “We need to know why.”
Pollsters accurately predicted John McCain’s win over Mitt Romney in the Republican race.
But more than a dozen surveys said Obama would win by as much as 13 points. But Mrs Clinton beat him by 39 per cent to 36 per cent.
Kucinich, who won less than 2 per cent of the vote in New Hampshire, says he wants to ensure “100 per cent of the voters had 100 per cent of their votes counted”.
He pointed to online reports alleging disparities between hand- counted ballots, which favoured Obama, and those tallied by machines, which leaned more to Clinton.
A TV documentary has claimed 81 per cent of New Hampshire votes were counted on machines that could be easily hacked into.
The state’s election officials insisted the count was accurate and can be checked against paper ballots.
Others experts point to a less sinister reason behind the upset. Surveys showed 17 per cent of voters made up their minds on the day, many of them plumping for Mrs Clinton.
She credited her win to showing a her softer side after being brought to the brink of tears during a campaign stop.