There were many disturbing occurrences of election officials violating election laws across America during the November Presidential Election. The impact of those violations, backed up by thousands of sworn affidavits, have led to justified outcries of election fraud and vote manipulation.
The election officials in those states dispute any assertions of irregularities – and instead, applaud themselves for doing a spectacular job. Sadly, we had issues in Windham, NH too – and it has become national news.
Sworn affidavits have been presented to the Attorney General regarding complaints from Republican Poll Watchers who were prohibited from meaningfully observing any part of the election process, which included the processing of absentee mail-in ballots, as well as the handling and processing of ballots that were deposited in a dropbox outside of the polling place on election day.
The importance of those complaints is exponentially magnified by the massive disturbing errors in the State Rep results that were reported on election night. Those results showed Democrat State Representative Candidate Kristi St. Laurent fell short of being elected by just 24 votes.
St. Laurent requested a hand recount be performed by the Secretary of State (SOS), which took place on November 12, 2020, in Concord under the supervision of NH SOS Bill Gardner and Deputy SOS Dave Scanlon. Three of the Windham State Rep candidates were present; Mrs. St. Laurent (D), Julius Soti (R), and Bob Lynn (R).
Windham Election Moderator Betty Dunn was present as well – but she made it clear that she was not at the recount as a representative of Windham. She was there to observe the recount process on behalf of Democrat candidate Kristi St. Laurent. I was there as well, so I can speak to what took place with first-hand knowledge. I’ll cover that experience in subsequent parts of this series.
To understand the serious magnitude of the tabulation errors, the table below compares the election night results to the recount results. The difference in votes and percentage of votes for each Republican candidate, as well as those for Mrs. St. Laurent, is troubling.
|Mary Griffin (R)||5,292||5,591||+299||+5.6%|
|Charles McMahon (R)||5,256||5,554||+298||+5.6%|
|Bob Lynn (R)||4,786||5,089||+303||+6.3%|
|Julius Soti (R)||4,480||4,777||+297||+6.6%|
|Kristi St. Laurent (D)||4,456||4,357||-99||-2.3%|
|Valerie Roman (D)||3,415||3,443||+28||+.008%|
|Henri Azibert (D)||2,787||2,808||+21||+.008%|
|Ioana Singureanu (D)||2,764||2,782||+18||+.007%|
It’s not unusual for a small number of vote totals to change during a recount, but the reported number of votes for every Republican candidate on election night was short by nearly 300 votes – and Democrat candidate Kristi St. Laurent tallied 99 more votes than cast. After the recount – St. Laurent’s margin of loss went from 24 votes (.005%) to 420 votes (9.6%). A huge difference.
Windham Election Moderator Betty Dunn has suggested the blame for the massive discrepancies belongs with the state recount officials. In addition, during a Windham Board of Selectmen’s meeting on 11/16/20, Dunn has deflected any suggestions the vote discrepancies are tied to the election day process that she helped oversee on election day.
“Until and unless it is proven that the town officials made a mistake, I think with all the time and effort and support and the number of public officials who you all put your faith and trust in, we ought to begin with the premise that we did our jobs, and did it well.”
I respectfully disagree with Mrs. Dunn. Some things should have been handled better in Windham – and must be going forward. Poll Watchers from all parties must be able to meaningfully observe the entire election process as defined by law. Poll Watchers should be welcomed by the Election Moderators to do so and not intimidated and dismissed – as they were in November and in every past election as far back as I can remember.
The vote tally problems in Windham – as well as what happened across the country – magnifies the need for open, honest, and transparent elections. Something that was sorely missing from our most recent Presidential election across many states.
It is unfortunate the AG’s office appears to be dragging its feet on this issue. The AG has been requested to investigate this issue by the Town of Windham, as well as the NH Ballot Commission. Windham Resident Tom Murray has also been in contact with Assistant AG Nicholas Chong Yen via phone and email on multiple occasions and shared his concerns;
“I’m disappointed in the lack of meaningful concern and response from the AG’s office. This is a serious issue that has impacted not only the down ballot of Windham’s State Representative’s race – it is a national issue that impacted the results of the Presidential race. Election integrity is critical to our Constitutional Republic and should never be open to question. Why is this not the top priority of our Attorney General and Governor?”
I am also a Windham resident, and I believe it is our obligation to find the root of the problem and correct it – with or without the AG’s help or blessing. No assumptions should be made and summarily dismissed – especially by the people who are responsible for supervising the election. Every possibility must be explored regarding what could have gone wrong in Windham… voting machine integrity, faulty election processes, potential election fraud, the accuracy of the recount process… We have the resources in Windham to impartially find the truth of what took place.
And although I feel comfortable the recount in Concord produced accurate results (which I’ll explain in Part 2), that too may need to be examined. But the investigation should begin in Windham using basic troubleshooting techniques to methodically isolate the cause(s) of the discrepancies – and rectified – so they will never be repeated.
And that investigation should be open and transparent – with everyone welcome to meaningfully observe.