The New Hampshire House is back to work this week, and they have a lot of legislation to address. The Democrats are expected to delay delay delay and drag the session out into the wee hours – there’s a lot of stuff they lack the votes to stop, so parliamentary hijinks are the order of business.
That’s not a dig; this is part of the process. Republicans would do it too, so no one should be bitching about any of that. But one of those bills has attracted nationwide attention, at least among our readers. International, even. SB43 empowers the Secretary of State and Attorney General to proceed with a full forensic audit of the November 2020 ballots and AccuVote machines in the Town of Windham, New Hampshire.
A State House race hand recount uncovered a 300 vote difference for Republican House candidates from the machine count reported on election night. [search results if you’d like to find out more.] Each candidate ended up with about 300 more votes than reported on Election Night.
SB 43 authorizes a full forensic audit of all the ballots and all the machines.
The goal is not to feed some conspiracy but to identify the source of that discrepancy. A move that New Hampshire Democrats have to date overwhelmingly supported.
From the town level to the State House, the sense is that until we figure out the where, what, why, how, when, and who, the Town can’t expect anyone to trust the results of their elections.
Those unfamiliar with the problem might think, what’s 300 votes?
For a town that casts a few thousand total ballots, this is a significant shift. Even in larger towns, races are won or lost by a handful or even a few dozen votes. If a contest is that close a candidate would be wise to ask for a recount but not if they lost by 200 votes or even 100 votes.
A 300 vote loss would not typically trigger a request for a recount. Still, if there is a systemic variation of 300 votes in an election, then there’s no reason to believe that other distortions are impossible.
We have to figure out what happened in Windham and then ask the next question. If it (whatever it is) happened here, why not anywhere else.
In the interest of election integrity, a full audit is necessary, and SB43 allows for that.
The bill will come before the full House this week. It has been placed on the consent calendar, which means a pile of bills all likely to pass that are voted on all at once using one vote of the legislature for every bill listed.
That is expected by Thursday this week, after which the bill goes back to the State Senate (the House amended it) for another vote before going to the governor.