Senator Bob Giuda was the driving force behind a new law that mandates Windham’s voting machines and ballots be forensically audited, because the November 3, 2020 election day voting machine results and subsequent hand recount for Windham’s State Rep race produced the largest unexplained numerical discrepancy in the History of NH.
Windham’s voting machines are old, and if they produced inaccurate results, then the integrity of the town’s elections are compromised – and the machines must not be used again. That outcome would have state-wide implications, as the same type of voting machines are used throughout NH to count 85% of the votes for each election.
Due to the shenanigans across many states in the 2020 general election, the investigation into what happened in Windham must be transparent and above reproach. There where thousands of “glitches” and “irregularities” reported and backed up with video and sworn affidavits – that were ignored by election officials in each of the swing states.
In sharp contrast, NH Secretary of State Bill Gardner deserves credit for seeking the truth – whatever it may be. While officials in other states seek to block investigations of irregularities, Secretary Gardner has endorsed the independent forensic audits of Windham’s ballots and machines.
The “Gardner Amendment”
Secretary Gardner proposed an amendment to the House Election Law Committee (HELC) that was worked out between the Secretary and myself over hours of conversation the night before the Bill’s HELC hearing. During that call, we agreed that in order to restore full confidence in NH elections, the state must perform a complete and transparent independent forensic audit on Windham’s machines and ballots.
We both agreed that people who had conflicts of interest must be kept arms length away from the process. We also agreed that this is a new field that did not exist six months ago – and that the key for public acceptance of the results – was to pick a qualified, experienced, and proven forensic team to perform the work.
In fact, Secretary Gardner was keenly aware of the optics of how the audit would be perceived by the public. It is why Gardner suggested that TWO forensic teams be selected. He would pick one, and requested that I pick one.
Gardner Amendment Support
Secretary Gardner’s plan for the forensic audit was also embraced by Senator Giuda, Dr. Dave Strang and House Election Law Committee Chair Barbara Griffin. It addressed everyone’s concerns and was on its way to becoming law without controversy.
Conflicts of Interest Introduced
However, no good deed goes unpunished in Windham, NH. One Windham Selectman – who has been against a forensic audit from the beginning – fabricated an attack on my character by maliciously misrepresenting my intent to speak with Secretary Gardner. That Selectman shamefully distorted the language and intent of the Gardner Amendment for political gain. He single-handedly nearly caused the Bill to be killed in Committee. His political antics led to a compromised amendment that was introduced and approved by the House Election Law Committee (HELC) minutes before the Bill’s passage.
The Bill (now law) retained language from Gardner’s proposed amendment that prohibited those with a conflict of interest from having direct involvement in the forensic audit process. Those with a conflict were: the AG’s office because they refused to perform a meaningful investigation; the SOS’s office because they oversaw the recount that produced the massive discrepancy; and those who supervised the general election in Windham on November 3, 2020 – including three Windham Selectman.
However, that last minute amendment mandated that the same State and Windham officials who are prohibited from direct involvement in the forensic audit – would solely choose the forensic analysts.
To summarize… Windham has a Selectman who vehemently opposes a forensic audit of Windham’s voting machines and ballots – and due to his antics and theatrics, he has maneuvered himself into a decisive role in choosing who will perform the forensic audit. That is a conflict of interest that should not go unnoticed!
That chain of events has led to concerns by many, that the fox is now watching the hen house – and justifiably so.
Juror standards should be applied for the selection process of the forensic analysts – but aren’t. Anyone with a perceived conflict of interest should be kept arms length away – but isn’t.
What Was Removed From The Gardner Amendment?
The Gardner Amendment specified which forensic analysts were eligible to be selected, as well as who would make the selections. Gardner’s proposal defined a built-in system of checks and balances to assure State AND Public confidence in the forensic audit process from beginning to end. It specified there would be three members on the forensic team; Jovan Hutton Pulitzer (ballot expertise); and one member chosen from each of the two groups below (forensic voting machine expertise).
a. Harry Hursti, Ron Rivest or Andrew Appel (defined by SOS Gardner)
b. Col. Phil Waldron or Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai (defined by me, per Gardner’s request)
However, the amended Bill that was signed into law removed the designated list of names above. It removed Gardner’s checks and balances regarding who will select the forensic analysts – and inserted a guy who is triggered by the words “forensic audit”.
How the Forensic Analyst Selection Process is Mandated to Work
The NH AG and Secretary Gardner will jointly choose a forensic analyst/team.
The Windham Board of Selectmen are tasked with choosing the second forensic analyst/team. At their public meeting on Monday, on the surface there were three credible applicants worthy of consideration; Allied Security Operations Group (ASOG), Cyber Ninjas, and Andrew Appel. Jovan Hutton Pulitzer was added by a request of a Windham resident. But after further consideration, Appel should be removed from consideration because it would violate the checks and balances that were originally defined in the Gardner Amendment.
What the Windham Selectmen Should Do
They should do the right thing.
They should ignore the biased character assassinations, partisan rhetoric, and conspiracy theories that are on the internet for the remaining qualified candidates – and vote for the most qualified team with proven experience so that Windham’s (and New Hampshire’s) interests are addressed.
They should choose a team that will leave no stone unturned. Every question and concern must be investigated.
Who is the Most Qualified Team?
There are really two complimentary forensic audits that need to be performed in order to address the concerns of all Windham residents: an audit of the ballots; and an audit of the machines. Windham should assemble a team with their selection.
The paper ballot expert is Jovan Hutton Pulitzer. He claims to have technology that will analyze many different aspects of the physical paper ballot – including the ability to image the ballots and tabulate the vote totals.
But as mentioned above, Windham should not choose Appel, because doing so will violate the checks and balances that were originally defined in the Gardner Amendment – and produce an unbalanced forensic team of voting machine analysts – resulting in all of whom have existing relationships with Gardner. That is a conflict of interest that the Gardner Amendment sought to eliminate.
The remaining two teams are Allied Security Operations Group (ASOG) and Cyber Ninjas. Once you dig past the internet conspiracy theories, you will find that both are excellent organizations with excellent personnel and proven track records. Both worked collaboratively on the Antrim County, MI forensic audit.
Cyber Ninjas are the lead team in Arizona’s election audit. They have just begun an unprecedented massive forensic audit on Arizona’s machines and 2.1 Million ballots. That huge undertaking will tie up a great deal of their attention and resources. I believe it would be difficult for Cyber Ninjas to provide Windham with their undivided attention if chosen as the lead team.
Allied Security Operations Group was the lead team in the Antrim County, MI forensic audit – the first of it’s kind. They are also providing their skills and services to the Cyber Ninjas for the Arizona election audit – but because they are not the lead team in Arizona, they do not have the responsibility nor the burden of coordinating the effort.
With that said, I believe the only logical choice for Windham’s forensic audit team is Allied Security Operations Group, with Jovan Hutton Pulitzer as a member of their team.
Respectfully let the Windham Board of Selectmen know how you feel. Their deadline for input is 4pm today. You can reach all of them with this one email address: BOS@WindhamNH.gov.
More to come…