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.