MANCHESTER, NH – In a twist that could only happen in New Hampshire politics, Carla Gericke, Republican candidate for NH State Senate, won a Libertarian Party primary recount on Tuesday, earning her two spots on the 2018 ballot, as both the Republican and Libertarian candidate.
Carla Gericke, 46, is running for State Senate in District 20 against 10-term Democratic incumbent Lou D’Allesandro, 80. This is the second match-up between the two candidates. In 2016 Gericke garnered 40 percent of the vote.
Gericke is determined to up her game this time around.
“I can win this time, but every vote must be counted,” Gericke said.
“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,” Gericke said.
Tuesday’s District 20 NH Secretary of State official write-ins recount tally is below – the only discrepancy was in Ward 11, which went from 1 write-in to 29 write-ins for a total of 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 defeat my opponent 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 percent 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.”
Added Gericke, “This whole recount in some ways raises more questions than it answers. 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.”