An auditor in Windham, New Hampshire, said the majority of ballots had a fold in them and are being reviewed through the town’s audit process investigating the 2020 election.
As many as 60% of ballots with machine-made or handmade folds were improperly counted by the town’s four scanning machines, Harri Hursti, one of three auditors selected for the process, told the New Hampshire Union Leader on Monday.
“The error rate was way higher than we expected,” Hursti said.
After the results of the 2020 state House race for the town were particularly close, a hand recount was requested. That resulted in four candidates in Rockingham District 7 gaining around 300 votes and one candidate losing around 100.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed legislation on April 12 ordering an audit of the ballot-counting machines and memory cards used during the 2020 general election in Windham, as well as a hand tabulation of roughly 10,000 ballots for the state House, governor, and U.S. senator races.
Two of the auditors previously expressed their suspicion that the folds may have been to blame, but Hursti’s comments on Monday provided more context to the scope of the issue.
“Because if someone voted for all four Republican candidates and the ballot happened to have its fold line going through St. Laurent’s target, then that might be interpreted by the machines as an overvote, which would then subtract votes from each of those four Republican candidates,” said Philip Stark, another member of the three-person audit team, according to a WMUR 9 report last week. “Conversely, if there were not four votes already in that contest by the voter, a fold line through that target could have caused the machine to interpret it as a vote for St. Laurent.”
The counting machines used in Windham, as well as in 85% of New Hampshire cities and towns, are some of the oldest in circulation, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported.
The age of the machines, which come from AccuVote, makes them harder to hack, Hursti told the outlet.
“Congratulations to the great Patriots of Windham, New Hampshire for their incredible fight to seek out the truth on the massive Election Fraud which took place in New Hampshire and the 2020 Presidential Election,” Trump said in a statement on May 6.
Sununu disputed the assertion that there was widespread fraud in his state. “A discrepancy of 300 votes out of over 800,000 cast does not constitute ‘massive election fraud,'” the governor said.
The audit, which began two weeks ago and is being conducted with the help of volunteers, moved to a new ballot count by hand on Monday. The entire process must be complete by Thursday as required by state law.