Windham, NH Forensic Audit Update: Significant Concerns Over Transparency

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

The forensic audit in Windham, NH, is off to a rocky start, with ballots and machines arriving Tuesday at Edward Cross Training Center in Pembroke, NH. According to SB43, the team of three auditors has until May 27 to complete the examination of the 2020 election results from four state House seats after discovering the discrepancy during a Nov. 12 recount.

The audit follows a unanimous vote in the NH legislature to get to the bottom of the largest election discrepancy in the history of the Granite State and is not without controversy. As previously reported by UncoverDC, all three individuals chosen for the crucial role of auditor in the town's concerted effort to maintain election integrity have ties to left-leaning Verified Voting. And through those ties, each one of them—Mark Lindeman, Harri Hursti, and Phillip Stark—have declared, in response to the overwhelming speculation of the results of November's election, there is no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election, stating:

We are aware of alarming assertions being made that the 2020 election was "rigged" by exploiting technical vulnerabilities. However, in every case of which we are aware, these claims either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent. To our collective knowledge, no credible evidence has been put forth that supports a conclusion that the 2020 election outcome in any state has been altered through technical compromise.

Windham ballots arrive at the audit site.

Monday night, Windham resident Ken Eyring filed an emergency motion for an injunction, arguing that once the audit gets underway, the data stored in the town's four voting machines "could be destroyed." Erying wrote in his motion, “It is critical to allow for the copying of all data prior to the forensic audit procedure to begin. Irrevocable damage would result otherwise.” A Superior Court judge on Tuesday denied his request to delay the audit.

In an effort for transparency, the audit is being live-streamed every day and can be viewed on the state government site here. Nonetheless, Windham constituents aren't pleased with the four cameras presenting the live stream, noting that they leave many areas of the audit process out of view. For that reason, on Thursday, local election integrity advocates Lisa Mazur and Bao Chau Kelly are making the drive to Pembrook to take a closer look. Their Live-Stream is here and is happening now.

Senator Bob Giuda, who listened to the valid election concerns of the Windham people, including long-time community leader Ken Eyring, was instrumental in getting SB43 written and passed to establish the forensic audit. Windham resident Bao Chau Kelly spoke to Ken Eyring and Sen. Guida Wednesday evening about the serious issues they've observed in the early stages of the audit.

Marilyn Todd holding signed petitions of residents supporting bringing in forensic expert Jovan Pulitzer as the "auditor for the people."/Facebook

In the interview, a concerned Eyring commented that the auditors are not using timecodes, meaning that if there were ever a need to go back to a particular place in the audit, there would be no way to do so. Eyring indicated that ballots were being counted off-camera, which is not acceptable. Additionally, in the early stages of discussing the audit, Windham constituents were told that they could ask questions with any concerns during the audit. But now that the audit is underway, they are told to write their questions down on paper and submit them. Eyring noted that the questions might be answered an hour or two later when the auditors take a lunch break, leaving many time-critical questions overlooked. 

Eyring commented that Assistant Attorney General Ann Edwards has not been responsive or effective in ensuring the live-streaming secures its objective. Edwards claims the state doesn't have the technology necessary to make it happen. 

Not comfortable with the path the entire process has taken thus far, Sen. Giuda made a trip to the audit site Wednesday, where he reiterated his initial concern about the discrepancy between the Nov. 3 election results and the recount. According to Giuda, it took him a while to develop the momentum to make his concerns an issue for the New Hampshire Senate. But once established, the support for election integrity was overwhelming. Giuda reflected on how the audit came to fruition, adding:

 "24-0 out of the Senate, 20-0 out of the House committee, unanimous voice vote on the floor of the house back to the Senate for concurrence with the amendments that the house had made, 24-0; so that is very unusual, I might even say historic. I have to say, Ken [Eyring], Tom [Murray], and Dave Strang are patriots. I am an elected official, but these are the people that are the legs of the movement that gave me the information I needed to move this forward." 

Speaking of his visit to Pembrook Wednesday night, Giuda mentioned he'd had a conversation with SoS Bill Gardner over some "issues that are significant." The Senator noted that "government these days, in many cases, is much less responsive to people that it should be, and that is unfortunate because we don't work for the government, the government is supposed to work for us, and when it doesn't, then it is time to stand up exert the effort necessary," adding:

"This is not about government, this is about people's right to know what is going on in their government. And we have an Attorney General's office and a Department of Justice that refused to do its job. It is just that simple. So we had to pass a law to make this [audit] happen. It should not have been necessary, but it was, and we did it. We did it because of the tremendous support that citizen patriots around the state, and I think around the country, have poured behind this effort." 

During his visit to the audit site, Giuda spoke with the three audit team members, Hursti, Lindeman, and Stark, and became aware of some "issues of things they need" when doing the hand-count of the ballots. Giuda agreed the cameras are not sufficient to allow citizens to watch the live stream properly and indicated the AG told him that its office "can't provide that technology." Giuda commented that it is critically important to the credibility of the integrity effort for people to be able to watch "as they are counting the tally sheets for all of the processing and counting of the ballots by hand."

After receiving confirmation from the AG's office that it cannot provide adequate live-streaming coverage, Giuda said that on Thursday, Eyring and the team from the Government Integrity Project will be procuring their own cameras and equipment so that "you the public can see every mark that is made on those tally sheets as they're counting every one of the 10,006 ballots. That is critically important. It might not be important to someone that doesn't recognize and respect what we're here for, which is to present to the public the best, most accurate, and integrity-based audit that we can about a major discrepancy in the vote." Proud of his constituents, Giuda said:

"The most important compliment of everything here is the citizens that have spoken up. In Windham, several thousand have signed petitions. So, this is a real thing, it is very critical that we sustain the sanctity of our votes and the integrity of our voting process. We need to do the right thing and produce the results that are both scientifically accurate and compelling in its integrity."

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