New Hampshire showed how to audit an election properly | Sarah Salem/The Washington Post

Pennsylvania is barreling toward a hyperpartisan, divisive election audit, not unlike the one in Maricopa County, Ariz. But there’s a way to carry out an ethical audit, election experts say. Just look at how New Hampshire did it. Verified election experts, a transparent process and bipartisan support marked a recent audit conducted in New Hampshire after a discrepancy in a state legislative race. That audit serves as an example of a bipartisan, “ethical” audit, antithetical to the one carried out in Maricopa County, said David Levine, an advisory committee member for the Global Cyber Alliance’s Cybersecurity Toolkit for Elections. “[New Hampshire] brought in some genuine election experts who understood election security and integrity, and then they conducted a very transparent bipartisan process that was spurred on by bipartisan-supported election legislation,” Levine said. One of those experts who conducted the New Hampshire audit was Philip Stark. Stark calls the Maricopa County audit a “fishing expedition,” in contrast to New Hampshire’s “forensic audit” that engendered widespread public confidence in the process. “The New Hampshire audit was a forensic audit in the sense that there was a known problem,” he said. “That’s not what happened in Maricopa. There was no evidence that anything was wrong.” 

 

Full Article: New Hampshire showed how to audit an election properly – The Washington Post

New Hampshire Attorney General and Secretary of State Offer Mixed Response to Windham Auditors’ Proposed Election Reforms | Casey McDermott/New Hampshire Public Radio

The team running the closely-watched audit of election irregularities in Windham’s 2020 state representative race put forward a series of proposed reforms to help avoid the same problems in future elections. But the New Hampshire Attorney General and Secretary of State aren’t on board with all of those changes. Top state election officials say some of the auditors’ suggestions would be too burdensome to implement and others might violate voters’ privacy. They outlined their responses to the audit in this report. One major disagreement revolves around flagging ballots that can’t be properly read by the machines. New Hampshire doesn’t have a system to let voters know if their ballot appears to have too many marks on it when it’s fed into a ballot counting machine at the polls on Election Day. Auditors say enabling this kind of “overvote notification” wouldn’t have prevented the issues in Windham, but it would have identified the problem much sooner. Through their investigation, auditors determined that Windham’s ballot counting devices miscalculated the vote totals in its state representative race by misinterpreting creases in folded absentee ballots as valid votes.

Full Article: N.H. Attorney General and Secretary of State Offer Mixed Response to Windham Auditors’ Proposed Election Reforms | New Hampshire Public Radio

New Hampshire: Windham emails provide window into election distrust | Michaela Towfighi/Concord Monitor

In a small white building, with green shutters to match the door, six binders with thousands of emails tell a story of outrage and distrust in an election system. The aftermath of a recount, forensic audit and sheer uproar over the November election still ring through this southern New Hampshire town as the state continues to release reports on how Windham got its election results wrong. The State of New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission released a final report last week on how three Republican candidates, who won the election, were shortchanged about 300 votes apiece. “The commission finds that the discrepancies in Windham in November, 2020 were the result of a unique set of circumstances, not the result of malfunctioning of the ballot counting devices, and are not likely to reoccur,” the report reads. The commission reaffirmed the results of the recount and offered an explanation for why Democrats were initially given more votes than deserved. Folds in the ballots interfered with the scanner’s ability to correctly read the ballots. The machines often misread the fold as a vote for a Democrat, but in some cases that meant a vote for four candidates vying for three State Representative seats, which invalided the ballot. Hand counting revealed the true totals, according to the commission. “The commission finds that the presently authorized AccuVote machines are capable of continuing to meet the requirements for elections held in New Hampshire,” the report concludes. Still, separating fact from fiction regarding the November election continues to be a point of debate.

Full Article: Windham emails provide window into election distrust

New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission endorses Windham election audit report, says discrepancy was due to ‘unique set of circumstances’ | John DiStaso/WMUR

The state Ballot Law Commission on Monday endorsed the findings of a team of experts that conducted a forensic audit of the results of the November 2020 state representatives’ election in Windham. The BLC, a panel established by statute to address election disputes and controversies, noted that the auditors found the 300-vote discrepancy between the Election Day totals and the recount totals was caused by improperly machine-folded ballots. The panel noted that the auditors found no evidence that the AccuVote counting machines used in Windham or elsewhere in the state “showed any indication of malfunctioning during the election.” “It is apparent from testimony and the audit report that the AccuVote machines in the town and statewide appear to operate properly, are capable of performing the task for which they have been certified, and there is no specific or widespread malfunctioning of the machines,” the commission wrote in a report. “The machines appear to be capable of continuing to perform properly. “The Commission finds that the discrepancies in Windham in November, 2020 were the result of a unique set of circumstances, not the result of malfunctioning of the ballot-counting devices, and are not likely to reoccur.” The BLC’s report – along with a separate report due by the Attorney General’s Office and Secretary of State William Gardner – were mandated by the state law passed early this year that created the audit process following wide discrepancies between the Election Day tally of the state representatives’ race and a hand recount.

Full Article: Ballot Law Commission endorses Windham election audit report, says discrepancy was due to ‘unique set of circumstances’

New Hampshire: The Price Tag to Audit Windham’s Election: $123,000 And Counting | Casey McDermott/New Hampshire Public Radio

The recent effort to investigate a nearly 400-vote discrepancy in Windham’s 2020 election results is poised to cost the state at least $123,000. But it’s not entirely clear how those and other outstanding expenses will be paid for, since the law authorizing the audit didn’t include any funding. “We knew it was going to be expensive,” Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards said. “We didn’t know what the total was going to be, and we still don’t know what the total is.” The $123,000 total so far includes broadcasting, security and facility expenses related to a three-week, in-person audit hosted at a New Hampshire National Guard facility in May. It doesn’t yet factor in any payments to three outside auditors who oversaw that process. It also doesn’t include other lingering technology and personnel expenses, so the final bill could be even higher. Once all of the invoices are in, Edwards said the Attorney General’s office plans to submit requests to the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee and the Executive Council to cover the costs. “When you’re hiring three experts to do this kind of work and you’re spending essentially three weeks in a facility with people working from eight o’clock in the morning until six, six-thirty, seven o’clock at night, that’s going to add up quickly,” Edwards said.

Full Article: The Price Tag to Audit Windham’s Election: $123,000 And Counting | New Hampshire Public Radio

New Hampshire: Windham audit blames discrepancy on folded ballots | Kevin Landrigan/New Hampshire Union Leader

The discrepancy found in Windham’s state representative races last November was caused by folds in mailed absentee ballots being misread by ballot-counting machines, not by partisan misbehavior, the forensic audit team concluded. In its 121-page report released Tuesday, the three-man audit team sought to put to rest suspicions about the 300-vote gains all four Republican candidates achieved after a hand recount of the Nov. 3 ballots. “We found no basis to believe that the miscounts found in Windham indicate a pattern of partisan bias or a failed election,” wrote Harri Hursti, Mark Lindeman and Phillip Stark, the three auditors chosen by the state and the town to conduct the review. In the first count on the night of Nov. 3, Republican Julius Soti won the fourth state representative seat by 24 votes over Democrat Kristi St. Laurent. But Soti’s win grew to 420 votes after a Nov. 12 hand recount requested by St. Laurent. All four GOP candidates picked up roughly 300 votes apiece, while St. Laurent’s vote total dropped by about 100 after the hand recount.

Full Article: Windham audit blames discrepancy on folded ballots

New Hampshire: Windham election audit team submits report | Callie Patteson/Yahoo News

A highly anticipated report about an audit of the 2020 election in Windham, New Hampshire, has been submitted to officials in the state. One of the auditors, Harri Hursti, confirmed to the Washington Examiner on Monday that his team “submitted it yesterday,” more than six weeks after the audit concluded. The team’s findings may become public as early as Tuesday. The portion of the audit that included the handling of ballots concluded on May 27. However, the audit team’s work did not stop there. “Now, we have captured the data,” Hursti told observers at the time. “Now, we have to go back to do the analysis, and there might be something in the data, which we now have, which we haven’t yet understood.” The three-person audit team — made up of Hursti, Mark Lindeman, and Philip Stark — initially found that as many as 60% of ballots with machine-made or handmade folds were improperly counted by scanning machines rendered by the town Windham. The ballot papers were made correctly, but the problem was due to the machines “forcefully” folding the paper in the wrong position.

New Hampshire Election Audit, part 2 | Andrew Appel/Freedom to Tinker

In my previous post I explained the preliminary conclusions from the three experts engaged by New Hampshire to examine an election anomaly in the town of Windham, November 2020. Improperly folded ballots (which shouldn’t have happened) had folds that were interpreted as votes (which also shouldn’t have happened) and this wasn’t noticed by any routine procedures (where either overvote rejection or RLAs would have caught and corrected the problem)–except that one candidate happened to ask for a recount. At least in New Hampshire it’s easy to ask for a recount and the Secretary of State’s office has lots of experience doing recounts.

Full Article: New Hampshire Election Audit, part 2

New Hampshire Election Audit, part 1 | Andrew Appel/Freedom to Tinker

Based on preliminary reports published by the team of experts that New Hampshire engaged to examine an election discrepancy, it appears that a buildup of dust in the read heads of optical-scan voting machines (possibly over several years of use) can cause paper-fold lines in absentee ballots to be interpreted as votes. In a local contest in one town, preliminary reports suggest this caused four Republican candidates for State Representative to be deprived of about 300 votes each. That didn’t change the outcome of the election–the Republicans won anyway–but it shows that New Hampshire (and other states) may need to maintain the accuracy of their optical-scan voting machines by paying attention to three issues:

  • Routine risk-limiting audits to detect inaccuracies if/when they occur.
  • Clean the dust out of optical-scan read heads regularly; pay attention to the calibration of the optical-scan machines.
  • Make sure that the machines that automatically fold absentee ballots (before mailing them to voters) don’t put the fold lines over vote-target ovals. (Same for election workers who fold ballots by hand.)

Everything I write in this series will be based on public information, from the State of New Hampshire, the Town of Windham, and the tweets of the WindhamNHAuditors.

Full Article: New Hampshire Election Audit, part 1

New Hampshire Election Audit Shows Machine Error Gave Extra Votes To Local Democrat; Determines No ‘Fraud,’ ‘Bias’ | Amanda Prestigiacomo/The Daily Wire

Machine-tabulated 2020 election results in Windham, New Hampshire, were likely different from a later hand-recount because of the way the town folded absentee ballots before they were delivered to voters, an election audit has determined. The ballot folds caused election-day totals to mistakenly exclude some votes and count extra votes for a local Democratic candidate. The group conducting the audit, which was called for after Democratic state House candidate Kristi St. Laurent lost her race and a recount revealed discrepancies in the vote totals, emphasized that “no evidence of fraud or political bias” was found. … Mark Lindeman, an auditor and co-director of Verified Voting, said the audit uncovered “no evidence of fraud or political bias,” and also said that he hadn’t heard “a credible hypothesis of how fraud could account for what we found.” Lindeman added that they “have no reason to think that it’s a statewide or national issue, although it’s certainly possible that it occurred in other localities.”

Full Article: NH Election Audit Shows Machine Error Gave Extra Votes To Local Democrat; Determines No ‘Fraud,’ ‘Bias’ | The Daily Wire

New Hampshire: Ballot Folds, Not Fraud, Likely Culprit At Center of Windham Election Audit. Now What? | Casey McDermott/New Hampshire Public Radio

After spending the last three weeks carefully recounting ballots, inspecting the vote counting machines and otherwise examining discrepancies in the 2020 election results for the town of Windham, auditors haven’t found any evidence of fraud or other intentional tampering. Instead, they’ve settled on a more mundane explanation for why the results of a hand recount of Windham’s state representative race veered so far from the results tallied at the polls on Election Night. Here’s what they learned, and what happens next. Windham’s problems hinge largely, it seems, on folds in its absentee ballots. When ballots were folded to fit inside official envelopes provided by the state, the crease ran through the bubble for Democratic candidate Kristi St. Laurent. And when those ballots were fed through a counting machine at the polls, the machines read the folds on some of them as votes for St. Laurent. That’s why she appeared to have more votes on Election Night than when her race was recounted by hand a week later. But the folds aren’t the only factor. There’s also the fact that humans and machines can read the same marks, on the same ballot, very differently. If a voter didn’t fill in the bubble for their preferred candidate correctly, a machine might not interpret that as a valid vote — but a person looking at the same ballot would likely catch that mark and recognize the voter’s intent. And if a voter appeared to fill in too many bubbles — or, if the machine thought a voter filled in too many bubbles, because one of the bubbles had a fold line through it — it could also throw off the machine count.

Full Article: Ballot Folds, Not Fraud, Likely Culprit At Center of Windham Election Audit. Now What? | New Hampshire Public Radio

New Hampshire Auditors Find No Fraud in Disputed Windham Election | Michael Casey/NBC Boston

There is no evidence of fraud or political bias in a controversial New Hampshire election where a recount and audit has drawn the interest of former President Donald Trump, auditors concluded Thursday. Rather, auditors investigating the election in the town of Windham believe a folding machine used by the town to try to accommodate the numbers of absentee ballots in the November election is responsible for mistakenly adding to vote counts for candidates in four legislative seats. “We found no evidence of fraud or political bias,” Mark Lindeman, one of the three auditors and the acting co-director of Verified Voting, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, said. “I have heard no one actually articulate a credible hypothesis of how fraud could account for what we found.” The town used the machine to fold the absentee ballots before sending them to voters. After they were returned, the ballots were fed into a counting machine. Because the folds on some ballots went through a Democrats name, the ballot was either not counted or a vote was wrongly given to the Democrat. The audit, mandated by the legislature and started earlier this month, finished Thursday. It was called by lawmakers from both parties after a recount requested by a losing Democratic candidate in one of the legislative races showed the Republicans getting hundreds more votes than were originally counted. No matter the audit findings, the results won’t change. The discrepancy drew the attention of Trump and his supporters in their effort to find evidence of his wider claim of election fraud from 2020. Trump’s cheerleading of skeptics in Windham shows how his search for evidence to support his false claims of election fraud have burrowed into American politics, even at the local level.

Full Article: Windham, NH Recount: Election Audit Begins Tuesday – NBC Boston

New Hampshire auditors see no sign of fraud — as Trump claims otherwise | Sara Murray/CNN

Outside a nondescript building, guarded 24/7 by state troopers, the leaders of Windham’s election audit field questions on the type of tape they’re using to seal boxes, why the livestream briefly failed and whether any ballot boxes have gone missing. Unlike audits of 2020 election results that have popped up in Arizona and Georgia, New Hampshire’s audit arose from a tangible gap in vote tallies in a race for state representative. Auditors have said their early assessment reveals no sign of fraud and instead points to human errors that they don’t believe are pervasive statewide. Even so, the bipartisan audit has become a flashpoint in this small town. And some conservatives are clinging to claims that the issue in Windham could point to broader election integrity problems throughout New Hampshire or even beyond. Harri Hursti, an expert in electronic voting security and part of the three-man team leading the audit, said he’s been surprised at the level of “malicious misinformation” swirling around the audit. “I’m a little bit surprised at the level of confusion and the level of deliberate trolling,” Hursti said. “The level of this is more than I expected. Nevertheless, we have to get the truth out. We have to make sure that people have the facts.” While the Windham audit wraps up this week, the 2020 election conspiracy theories are sure to persist. Among those amplifying them: former President Donald Trump and his allies. In a statement Monday night, Trump seized on the errors auditors are uncovering in New Hampshire and then claimed — without any supporting evidence — that Democrats were somehow behind it.

Full Article: New Hampshire auditors see no sign of fraud — as Trump claims otherwise – CNNPolitics

New Hampshire: Windham audit finds no fraud or evidence voting machines were tampered with | Kevin Landrigan/New Hampshire Union Leader

A forensic audit of automated vote counting machines in Windham revealed no evidence of fraud or tampering with those devices, officials said Thursday. The work of the first-ever audit of a New Hampshire election ended Thursday with the team standing by its initial finding that folds made in paper ballots were the major contributor to a wide discrepancy between results that were reported on election night and a hand recount done nine days later in local House races. On Tuesday, audit team member Harri Hursti began the process of examining in detail the four AccuVote machines used to process ballots in the town. “All the machines were matched. The content was exactly the same,” Hursti said. The state law ordering the audit required that the team’s initial work be completed by Thursday. State officials moved the boxes of paper ballots Thursday from the Cross Training Center on the New Hampshire National Guard campus in Pembroke to the New Hampshire State Archives Building in Concord.

Full Artifcle: Windham audit finds no fraud or evidence voting machines were tampered with | Voters First | unionleader.com

New Hampshire: Evidence, testing point to borrowed folding machine as source of Windham vote issues | Adam Sexton/WMUR

There is growing evidence showing that fold lines on absentee ballots from a borrowed mechanical folding machine were likely a major contributing factor to vote discrepancies in the 2020 election in Windham. The audit of the November 2020 vote in Windham has entered its final days, and independent auditors are increasingly confident they are closing in on the cause of wild fluctuations in vote totals in the town’s race for state representative. Independent auditor Harri Hursti said it appears to have started with Windham’s rush to accommodate unprecedented demand for absentee ballots. “They ran short of labor, they were behind schedule and they tried to speed up the process by borrowing a folding machine from the Department of Motor Vehicles,” Hursti said. According to Hursti, the borrowed machine was responsible for the fold lines observed on some ballots, running through the oval next to candidate Kristi St. Laurent’s name. Those lines left a bump in her vote target. “And that bump creates a shadow, and that shadow is the root cause of what has been causing the phantom votes,” Hursti said.

Full Article: Evidence, testing point to borrowed folding machine as source of Windham vote issues

New Hampshire: Folded ballots appear to be cause of Windham vote change | Kevin Landrigan/New Hampshire Union Leader

As many as 60% of ballots with hand or machine-made folds were improperly read by the four AccuVote optical scanning machines used in Windham in the 2020 election cycle, a forensic audit team member said Monday. “The error rate was way higher than we expected,” said Harri Hursti, one of the three auditors. Hursti said analysis has shown automated voting machines misread these ballots and this could explain why the count was inaccurate for both Republican and Democratic candidates for state representative. Critics have pointed to the discrepancy as evidence to back up claims the presidential election was tainted by inaccurate automated vote tallying. On Election Day, Republican Julius Soti finished fourth to take the last of four seats for state representative by 24 votes over Democrat Kristi St. Laurent. But Soti’s win grew to 420 votes after a Nov. 12 hand recount. The average of the votes tabulated from the four machines after the audit put Soti ahead of St. Laurent by 377 votes, 4,706 to 4,329. Hursti said the audit team has a theory for how the folds inflated St. Laurent’s total and undercounted the GOP votes that were actually cast.

Full Article: Folded ballots appear to be cause of Windham vote change | State | unionleader.com

New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office taking wait-and-see approach to fold glitch in vote scanning machines | John DiStaso/WMUR

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said Tuesday his office is taking a wait-and-see approach to the possibility that fold lines in absentee ballots may have caused scanning machines to misread the vote totals in the Windham state representatives’ election and that the problem could be widespread in the state. The forensic auditors investigating the discrepancy in the Election Day Windham vote totals and subsequent recount totals said Monday the AccuVote scanning machines in Windham may have misread fold lines that crossed through the oval vote “targets” as votes for Democratic candidate Kristi St. Laurent. She said her name happened to fall along the fold “most commonly.” Auditors said they had not reached a definitive conclusion on the question as of Monday but said that if the fold issue turns out to be the cause of the discrepancy, it could be a statewide concern. “Throughout New Hampshire, you’re using the same voting machines, the AccuVote, and in principle, it could be an issue,” auditor Phillip Stark told WMUR. “It really depends where the folds are in relationship to the vote targets.” The auditors said the matter would be tested extensively as the audit continued Tuesday and is expected to continue Wednesday. Scanlan told WMUR that about 200 polling places in the state – approximately two-thirds of the total number of polling places — use AccuVote scanners to count ballots, while about 100 polling places use paper ballots. n“I saw the comment (by the auditors) and at this point, it is speculation until they dig deeper into it,” Scanlan said. He said he and Secretary William Gardner are aware of the comments by the auditors.

Full Article: Secretary of State’s Office taking wait-and-see approach to fold glitch in vote scanning machines

New Hampshire: Voter machine audit comes up with new totals in Windham | Kevin Landrigan/New Hampshire Union Leader

The first review in the forensic audit of Windham election returns has produced different vote totals than were reported right after the Nov. 3 election. The four Republican candidates for state representative in Windham each got roughly 220 more votes through an audit of automated vote counting machines than reported on Election Day. Meanwhile, Kristi St. Laurent, the top-finishing Democrat, got about 125 fewer votes from the audit than announced Nov. 3. The audit of the four AccuVote machines used to count ballots in Windham wrapped up over the weekend. Volunteers began Monday the hand recounting of all ballots cast in the races for state representative, governor and U.S. senator. Mark Lindeman, a member of the three-person audit team, urged the volunteers to carefully examine ballots with fold lines in them as the automated voting machines improperly counted some of them as votes. “In some cases fold lines are being interpreted by the scanners as valid votes,” Lindeman said. “That’s something we especially want to encourage to look for at the table.”

Full Article: Voter machine audit comes up with new totals in Windham | State | unionleader.com

New Hampshire: Windham vote auditors point to ballot fold lines as possible source of discrepancies | Adam Sexton/WMUR

Independent auditors examining vote discrepancies in the 2020 state representative race in Windham are zeroing in on fold lines across ballots as a potential explanation for significant changes in vote tallies from the November machine count and a subsequent hand recount. The work of closely examining each of Windham’s 10,000 ballots from the November 2020 election is expected to last three days, but auditors and volunteers at the secure audit facility in Pembroke could be inching closer to an explanation for the discrepancies. “Something we strongly suspect at this juncture, based on various evidence, is that in some cases, fold lines are being interpreted by the scanners as valid votes,” said independent auditor Mark Lindeman. Auditors said the scanners could be interpreting the fold lines as a vote when they go through a “vote target,” or a candidate’s name on the ballot. They said a lot of Windham’s ballots appear to have fold lines across the target of a Democratic state representative candidate.

Full Article: Windham vote auditors point to ballot fold lines as possible source of discrepancies

In a small New Hampshire town, the 2020 election still rages | Michael Casey/Associated Press

Windham Board of Selectmen are usually as sleepy as they sound — a handful of residents from the New Hampshire town, a discussion of ambulance fees, maybe a drainage study. So when a crowd of about 500 people showed up last week, some waving American flags, carrying bullhorns and lifting signs questioning the presidential election, Bruce Breton knew things were about to change. “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Breton, who has served on the board for 18 years. “The groundswell from the public is unbelievable.” The crowd at the Monday meeting had been fired up by conservative media, which in recent weeks has seized on the town’s election results for four seats in the state House as suspect. The attention, fanned by a Donald Trump adviser who happens to be a Windham resident, has helped a routine recount spiral, ultimately engulfing the town in a false theory that the national election was stolen from Trump. It doesn’t seem to matter that Republicans won all four state House seats in question. The dust-up shows just how far Trump’s election lies — and the search for evidence to support them — have burrowed into American politics, even the most local. Like House Republicans in Washington fighting over what some call the “Big Lie” and lawmakers in Arizona conducting a partisan “recount,” this bedroom community is still wrestling with the aftermath of 2020. The trouble started when Kristi St. Laurent, a Democratic candidate for the state House, requested a recount after falling 24 votes short in the November election. Instead of gaining a few votes in her House race as she expected, the 53-year-old physical therapist learned that the recount showed that four of the Republicans each received an additional 300 votes. Laurent lost 99 votes.

Full Article: In a small New Hampshire town, the 2020 election still rages

New Hampshire: Third member named to Windham audit panel; members ask the public to observe the process, then draw conclusions | Josie Albertson-Grove/New Hampshire Union Leader

A statistics professor has been named as the third and final member of a panel facing a May 27 deadline to audit the November 2020 state representative election in Windham. “We will do our work in such a way that nobody will have to trust any of us,” Philip Stark of the University of California, Berkeley, said Wednesday. “They can look at what was done, rather than who did it.” A hand recount about three weeks after election night determined that the four Windham Republicans running for House seats each received about 300 more votes than were reported from automatic AccuVote counting machines. Gov. Chris Sununu last month signed the legislation that mandates the forensic audit. Stark was chosen by the two other members of the audit team — computer scientist Harri Hursti of Nordic Innovation Labs and Mark Lindeman of election technology policy group Verified Voting. All three have participated in election audits around the country, going back more than a decade. The attorney general and secretary of state chose Hursti together, and Windham’s Board of Selectman picked Lindeman. Hursti and Lindeman chose Stark to round out their team’s areas of expertise. Windham’s choice for the audit team has drawn attention from national conservative media personalities, including former Trump advisor Steve Bannon. On Monday night, about 500 people attended a selectmen’s meeting in Windham to protest the board’s 3-1 vote for Lindeman last month.

Full Article: Third member named to Windham audit panel; members ask the public to observe the process, then draw conclusions | Voters First | unionleader.com

A town of 14,000 people in New Hampshire is now part of Trump’s post-election fantasia | Philip Bump/The Washington Post

The last time Windham, N.H., was at the center of presidential politics, it was because it was the proving ground for Corey Lewandowski’s style of smash-mouth politics. The campaign manager for Donald Trump’s 2016 sprint through the Republican primaries earned a write-up in the New York Times for his aggressive efforts to upend politics-as-usual in the 14,000-person town. Now Windham is central to Trump in a different way. The former president’s always-shifting efforts to prove that he didn’t lose the 2020 election, eternally encumbered by the fact that he did, have settled for the time being on an anomalous recount in Windham’s 2020 state representative race. “You’re watching New Hampshire,” he told customers at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., during an apparently spontaneous speech there last week. “They found a lot of votes up in New Hampshire just now. You saw that.” This, he said, was further evidence that the 2020 election was “rigged.” But the reality of the situation in Windham, perhaps predictably, is more complex than the former president suggests. The problem in Windham arose after a Democratic candidate named Kristi St. Laurent requested a recount in the race to seat four members of the state legislature. Eight candidates ran, four from each major party, with the top four winning election. After the votes were initially tallied, St. Laurent came in fifth, by a margin of 24 votes. After the recount, though, she lost by more than 400. How? Because the recount found that all four Republicans had actually earned about 300 more votes than were included in the initial tally — and that St. Laurent had been allocated 99 more votes than she deserved.

Full Article: A town of 14,000 people in New Hampshire is now part of Trump’s post-election fantasia – The Washington Post

New Hampshire: Windham stands pat on audit choice after raucous meeting | Josie Albertson-Grove/New Hampshire Union Leader

After almost 500 people showed up to a meeting to push the Windham Board of Selectmen to reconsider its pick for an election audit team Monday night, selectmen decided to stick with their choice. Last month, the board chose Mark Lindeman, of the nonpartisan election-technology research group Verified Voting, to represent the town in an audit of its 2020 election results. On Monday, the state named Finnish data security expert Harri Hursti as its representative. Hursti was a member of the Verified Voting’s non-governing board of advisers until November, according to a Verified Voting spokeswoman. The audit was ordered in a state law passed after a recount in the Nov. 3 election turned up about 300 additional votes for each of four Republicans in the race for Windham’s seats in the state House of Representatives. Under the law, the state and the town each appointed one member to the audit panel. Those two members will choose a third member. The audit must be completed this month. Critics have pointed to the vote discrepancy as proof of claims that the presidential election was tainted by inaccurate vote tallying by machines. Selectman Bruce Breton was the lone opponent in the 3-1 vote for Lindeman last month. Breton supported Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, an inventor and computer scientist who was involved in the Maricopa County, Ariz., recount and was on a list of experts Secretary of State Bill Gardner said were credible — though some Democratic leaders consider Pulitzer as a conservative partisan without election expertise. “We have received over 3,000 emails from everywhere,” Breton said at Monday night’s meeting. “And they agree with me that we made the wrong pick.”

Full Article: Windham stands pat on audit choice after raucous meeting | Voters First | unionleader.com

New Hampshire: Windham selectman calls foul over audit representative selection | Julie Huss/The Eagle-Tribune

A selectman hopes to change the outcome of a recent vote to choose a representative to participate in a forensic audit of Windham’s election results and voting machines from the Nov. 3 general election. Bruce Breton released a statement this week, asking his fellow selectmen to reconsider a 3-1 vote taken April 26 that selected Mark Lindeman, co-director of the organization Verified Voting, as the town’s designee for the upcoming audit, citing conflicts of interest. … Breton said Lindeman has a definite conflict of interest representing Windham and New Hampshire’s citizens as a forensic auditor, citing Lindeman joining in to sign a letter to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, expressing opposition to the election audit currently taking place in that state’s Maricopa County. In the letter sent to Fann in Arizona, Verified Voting joined in with a long list of election law experts, administrators, voting rights experts and national security representatives to voice concern about the public being restricted from having access to the audit currently taking place on 2.1 million ballots from the November election. The letter urged Fann to grant public observation to representatives from nonpartisan American organizations and education institutions. “This audit, which will include recounting ballots cast for U.S. President, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, is a matter of concern to all Americans,” the letter read. “The Arizona Senate must not prohibit access to election administration and voting equipment experts from nonpartisan American organizations that support free, fair and secure elections.”

Full Article: Windham selectman calls foul over audit representative selection | New Hampshire | eagletribune.com

New Hampshire: Windham picks designee to work on forensic audit | Julie Huss/Eagle-Tribune

The town has chosen its official representative to help get answers about what happened with vote tally discrepancies after the general election last November. At a meeting Monday night, Selectmen voted 3-1 to choose Mark Lindeman and his team as the town designee for an upcoming forensic audit to determine what happened to cause major differences between the town vote count and a state recount in the Rockingham County District 7 race. Selectmen Ross McLeod, Heath Partington, and Roger Hohenberger all voted to support Lindeman as the top choice with Bruce Breton putting his faith instead behind another interested candidate, Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, as the town audit designee. Selectman Jennifer Simmons did not attend Monday night’s meeting. Candidates hoping to get the audit job presented information to Selectmen last week. Public input was also considered. Lindeman, an acting director of Verified Voting, came out on the top of the list for McLeod, Partington and Hohenberger, with all citing his level of expertise in this type of election audit work. In his presentation to Selectmen, Lindeman said Windham faced “a riddle” and added all the evidence will be scrutinized to “follow the facts and find out where they lead.”

Full Article: Windham picks designee to work on forensic audit | New Hampshire | eagletribune.com

New Hampshire: Governor signs Windham election audit bill | Kevin Landrigan/Union Leader

A forensic audit of election results from Windham will begin later this spring after Gov. Chris Sununu signed legislation Monday aimed at getting to the bottom of a major ballot discrepancy. A hand recount three weeks after the Nov. 3 election found all four Republicans running for seats in the New Hampshire House had gotten about 300 more votes than were reported from automatic vote-counting machines on election night. Last month, Secretary of State Bill Gardner proposed a process to conduct the audit, which he said would be New Hampshire’s first in the 45 years he has been serving as the state’s top election official. “New Hampshire elections are safe, secure, and reliable,” Sununu said in a statement after signing the amended bill (SB 43). “Out of the hundreds of thousands of ballots cast this last year, we saw only very minor, isolated issues — which is proof our system works,” Sununu said. “This bill will help us audit an isolated incident in Windham and keep the integrity of our system intact.” Gardner and Windham conservative activist Ken Eyring came up with a process that would require a team of hand-picked forensic analysts to examine the four AccuVote machines used to count ballots in Windham. Among the potential analysts were two experts, Col. Phil Waldron and Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, who were involved in challenging the results of presidential voting in several states last fall.

Full Article: Sununu signs Windham election audit bill | State | unionleader.com

New Hampsire House Election Law Committee approves detailed forensic audit of Windham election results | John DiStaso/WMUR

The House Election Law Committee on Wednesday approved and sent to the full House legislation outlining a full, detailed forensic audit by a team of experts of the Nov. 3 election results in the town of Windham. The panel on a 20-0 vote signed off on a completely rewritten Senate Bill 43. Responding to pleas from Windham residents, and supported by Secretary of State William Gardner, the bill now direct the performance of an audit of the ballot counting machines and their memory cards and the hand tabulations of ballot for the election in the southern New Hampshire community. The bill calls for the formation of a “forensic election audit team” of three people – one designated by the town, one designated jointly by the secretary of state and attorney general and one person selected jointly the other entities. These may well be national experts. It is the latest development to address a controversy that arose after a recount of the Rockingham District 7 House seat showed four of eight candidates each receiving an additional 300 votes and three others with much smaller increases more typical of a recount, while the candidate who requested the recount, Democrat Kristi St. Laurent, losing 99 votes. St. Laurent appealed to the Ballot Law Commission, which upheld the results of the recount in certifying the four people seated by the House, but requested an investigation by the attorney general’s office, which has now been undertaken.

Full Article: House Election Law Committee approves detailed forensic audit of Windham election results

New Hampshire: Republican voting bills draw opposition from college students during committee hearings | John DiStaso/WMUR

College students charged Monday that their right to vote in New Hampshire is again under attack through the latest group of bills that Republicans say are aimed an ensuring the integrity of the state’s elections. With the validity of the November election nationally having come under criticism by former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters, Republicans in the Granite State are reigniting efforts to ensure what they say is election integrity. The House Election Law Committee, now with a Republican majority, took several hours of testimony Monday on bills that the sponsors said would ensure that people voting in New Hampshire are residents of New Hampshire but opponents said were partisan attempts to disenfranchise voters, particularly college students. The committee also voted along partisan lines recommending the full House kill Democratic-sponsored bills to allow the permanent use of “no-excuse,” universal absentee voting in future New Hampshire elections. Details on these and other committee votes appear at the end of this report. The committee took testimony on House Bill 362, which would repeal the use of a student’s address at an educational institution as his or her place of domicile for voting purposes. Current law allows a student to claim domicile in the New Hampshire city or town in which he or she lives while attending the institution.

Full Article: Republican voting bills draw opposition from college students during committee hearings

New Hampshire: Voters, officials look into vote count discrepancy in Windham | Cherise Leclerc/WMUR

Voters in Windham have continued to call for answers over a discrepancy in votes between election night and a subsequent recount. During a meeting held on Monday night, the Deputy Moderator said they still do not know which vote count is correct. Officials with the company that owns the voting machines, LHS Associates in Salem, were as the meeting held Monday. They explained how the machines work and the next steps, saying they are in support of a 100% audit of the election results. A recount of the state representative race found about 300 additional votes for each of the winning candidates. Town Clerk Nicole Bottai explained the security behind the four machines that have been in use for 20 years.

Full Article: Voters, officials look into vote count discrepancy in Windham

New Hampshire: Sununu addresses Windham recount results that show Republicans were shorted votes | Paul Steinhauser/Concord Monitor

Gov. Chris Sununu says he won’t let “slip by” an apparent voting discrepancy in a state House of Representatives race in Windham – which has grabbed national exposure and even caught the attention of former President Donald Trump. “We’re not going to let that slip by. We’re going to attack it, at all levels, and make sure that we really get to the root of the problem,” New Hampshire’s three-term Republican governor said Thursday at a news conference. “And make sure that, even though it may have been a small problem, that it isn’t systematic across anything.” The saga began on Election Day last November when Democrat Kristi St. Laurent, a candidate for one of four seats to represent Rockingham District 7 in the state House, was just 24 votes shy of winning. The narrow margin triggered a recount of the ballots. Here’s where it gets interesting. The recount discovered that four long-serving AccuVote optical scanning machines that were used on Election Day shorted the four GOP candidates in the contest between 297 and 303 votes. Three other Democratic candidates were shorted 18 to 28 votes, but the recound showed St. Laurent was credited with 99 more votes than were cast for her. The result of the recount – which was witnessed by dozens of officials and observers – was, to say the least, puzzling. With state law only allowing for a single recount in political races, New Hampshire’s Ballot Law Commission accepted the recount’s results. But Republicans asked the state Attorney General’s Office to investigate the matter.

Full Article: On the Trail: Sununu addresses Windham recount results that show Republicans were shorted votes