(USA Features) An audit of ballots cast in 2020 in a small New Hampshire town could wind up having statewide implications, according to officials involved in the effort.
An audit team in Windham, N.H., began the process easily enough earlier this week but a day later, on Wednesday, they encountered a problem: Live-stream cameras that had been set up to make the effort transparent went offline for nearly 90 minutes, “potentially obscuring any problematic intervention,” Just the News reported Saturday.
Afterward, the audit team decided on Thursday to reinspect ballot machines while on camera to ensure faith in their effort as they sought to determine if the machines were tampered with overnight after the cameras went offline mysteriously.
“With the country focused on the election audit in Maricopa County, Ariz. and early headlines about election night troubles centered on cities in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan, it comes as a small surprise that the idyllic New England town of Windham — where Republicans ultimately won each of the races now being inspected — also now finds itself under scrutiny for possible election night machine malfunctions and numbers that just don’t add up,” Just the News added.
Though the audit is only focused on the small city of Windham, population 14,853, the results may have statewide implications because the AccuVote machines that the town used during last fall’s balloting are the only ones that have been approved for use in New Hampshire.
The objective of the audit is to determine an explanation for major discrepancies that were found during a hand recount that was conducted shortly after the November 3 election at the request of a Democratic candidate for the state House of Representatives.
“According to the election night tally, Democratic candidate Kristi St. Laurent fell short of winning her seat by just 24 votes,” Just the News reported. “But, after a hand recount conducted by the secretary of state on Nov. 12, St. Laurent’s deficit widened significantly from 24 votes (.005%) to 420 votes (9.6%).
“The results of the race were unchanged, but the recount showed that each Republican on the slate had been shorted about 300 votes, and votes for St. Laurent had been overcounted by 99 votes,” the outlet continued.
According to Windham Election Moderator Betty Dunn, the discrepancies were to a result of the balloting processes she helped to oversee.
“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,” she said.