The “Windham Incident” continues to ruffle feathers in Windham, NH, as the town prepares for its upcoming forensic audit as mandated by SB43. Of the over 1,000 recounts performed by New Hampshire’s Secretary of State (SoS), the discrepancy between the hand count and the machine count in Windham’s ballot recount is the largest in the state’s history.

The Windham Board of Selectmen met Monday night to continue the process of selecting the forensic analyst to perform the audit. In a 3-1 vote, Selectmen voted to choose the team of Mark Lindeman and Andrew Appel (Appel would not be physically present during the audit). The selection of Lindeman and Appel added to the frustration of the Windham voters advocating for a fair and transparent forensic audit when it was revealed that, in an Apr. 13, 2021 letter sent to Karen Fann, President of the Arizona State Senate, Mark Lindeman discouraged the current forensic audit underway in Maricopa County, advising that:

“Additional audits will have little value other than to stoke conspiracy theories and partisan gamesmanship—or worse. This troubling conclusion is further supported by the selection of a firm [Cyber Ninjas] that appears to lack independence or technical expertise, both of which are required under the most basic principles of auditing.”

Mark Lindeman is the Co-Director of Verified Voting, a non-profit with a history of working with left-leaning organizations, including the Brennan Center for Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, and Common Cause. Also worth noting, Verified Voting board chair Barbara Simons also sits on the board of the Democracy Alliance, an influential Soros-funded donor collective.

In Monday’s meeting, Selectmen Ross McLeod, Heath Partington, and Roger Hohenberger chose Lindeman as their top choice, while Bruce Breton supported and recommended Jovan Pulitzer. Hohenberger, whose term expires in 2024, praised Lindeman and Appel as the top choice, explaining:

“Mark has helped design and supervise hand counts in CO, CA, RI, and PA. I think Mark has a very strong background in the ballot counting, auditing part of the process. Dr. Apel is a professor of computer science at Princeton and has performed two separate court-ordered forensic analysis of audits of voting machines in 2008 and 2011. He has taught an election machinery course at Princeton. He has testified before the NJ legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in 2017.”

In further emphasizing his support of Lindeman, Hohenberger stated that he brings the availability of Dr. Douglas W. Jones of the University of Iowa, who has already volunteered to offer expert advice. According to Hohenberger, Dr. Jones is “arguably the pre-eminent voting machine expert in the world, and he has deep knowledge of the design and limitations of the Acuvote Optical Scanner type we use, and similar early-generation optical scanners.” He added that in his proposal, Lindeman “laid out an extensive and detailed process for the organization of the hand counts and a path forward for our forensic analysis of the optical scanner machines.” 

Breton, who received applause from Monday night’s crowd when announcing his recommendation of Jovan Pulitzer, added, “Pulitzer has the technology, impeccable reputation, technology used throughout the world. He would do the best job.” Agreeing with Breton, Granite Grok’s Ken Eyring, a longtime Windham resident who, along with Senator Bob Giuda, has been instrumental in the movement to facilitate the forensic audit, wrote last week that he removed Lindeman from his list of audit designee choices, favoring instead Allied Security Operations Group, with Jovan Pulitzer as a member of their team.

Late last week, the Windham Board of Selectman Chairman advised Eyring about recent “Windham Incident” death threats. The Chairman informed Eyring that he had received “at least two veiled death threats,” adding, “the veiled death threats have crossed the line. This is on you.” At the request of the Chairman, Eyring issued a public statement on the matter, declaring:

“I have had a good, healthy, and respectful relationship with the Chairman going back many years. I agree completely with him that any sort of threat—veiled or not— crosses the line. But I do not agree that “this is on me.” I am NOT responsible for the actions of any other person. I have NEVER incited—nor condoned—violence. It is irresponsible that I am being blamed for someone else’s actions.

To be helpful, I asked to get a copy of the threats so I could put them into context.  The Chairman told me that one threat was made via email and the other was a voice message—and that he would forward them to me later today/tonight. Due to the serious accusation, I immediately spoke with the Town Administrator to see if he had a copy of the email. I was told that he would look at the emails and try to forward it to me.

I don’t have any reference regarding what threats were specifically made, but in the meantime, I want to make it clear that I respect the Chairman and the Select Board. Public servants should never be put into a position where they are threatened. Never.

I will not ask people to cease sending their concerns to any public official. BUT I WILL REITERATE THAT WHEN YOU DO, YOU MUST BE CORDIAL AND RESPECTFUL.

Late Wednesday, in reaction to the Verified Voting letter that went viral on Tuesday exposing a conflict of interest with Lindeman, Selectman Bruton issued a press release suggesting the Windham Board of Selectman made a mistake in picking Lindeman and urged that the Board make a motion of reconsideration at their next meeting on May 3rd regarding the selection, saying in part:

“I believe my colleagues on the Board have made a mistake and must have an opportunity to correct it immediately. Time is of the essence, as SB43 mandates the forensic audit be completed within 45 days of the passage of the Bill.”

New Hampshire RNC National Committeeman Chris Ager immediately expressed his full support of Breton’s concerns, adding that instead of bringing closure, “this auditor raises more questions and further erodes confidence in the system. Please join me and Mr. Breton in calling for an alternate auditor that can restore confidence in the audit.”

This article has been updated with additional comments from Selectman Bruce Breton and RNC National Committeeman Chris Ager.