Audit Needed to Restore Confidence in Election, House Committee Says | News, Sports, Jobs
CONCORD — A forensic audit of the 2020 election must be done to restore confidence in the state’s electoral system, a House committee said repeatedly Wednesday.
The House Election Law Committee heard testimony on three bills calling for audits of the 2020 elections, including statewide, Merrimack County for President, Governor and U.S. Senate, and recounted races.
A number of those who testified told the committee to join us and grant the audit or they would be on the wrong side of history and removed from office.
“You can either be on the side of tyranny or be on the side of history”, said Terese Grinnell of Loudon. “If you take the wrong path, you will have to face your creator.”
Grinnell was arrested last fall at an Executive Council meeting where she objected to accepting money from the federal Centers for Disease Control to boost state immunization programs.
On Wednesday, she told committee members that they don’t care about the integrity of voters or solving the problem, they only care about money and politics.
“If you are a RINO (Republican in name only) and you are part of the establishment and not part of the people”, grinnel said, “You won’t be in politics for long. It’s a new day and we have your name on this list.
House Election Law Committee Chair Barbara Griffin, R-Goffstown, had to interrupt him to tell him to look into the bill, House Bill 1484, demanding a government-wide audit State.
Others claimed that state election officials had known for some time that there were problems with the state’s electoral system with outdated voter rolls, insecure and easily hacked voting machines, broken state and federal laws, no checks and balances and too many anomalies across the state.
Many said the election was rigged and several claimed it was stolen, noting that Republicans flipped the State House but Democrats dominated national races, echoing former President Donald Trump.
Brenda Towne of Stratham said she was part of a very large group of people concerned about the integrity of the 2020 election.
She supported Merrimack County’s audit for the three statewide positions and said it should be done in a very prescribed manner.
She said they all learned a lot with the Windham audit where counting errors were traced to incorrect folds in the ballot.
“What happened made us all think we should look into this,” City said. “We have never audited an election.”
She noted the large increase in the use of mail-in ballots in 2020, as well as larger increases in the percentage of voters in several counties compared to previous elections and in particular for one party.
“Something Doesn’t Make Sense” she said, “So we focused on the data and the details.”
The 2020 election set a turnout record, and officials credit the one-time change in election laws with making it easier to vote by mail during the pandemic for the most mail-in ballots, which improves voter turnout. high turnout.
She, like others, criticized local election officials for sending the flashcards to the company that runs the state’s voting machines, LHS Associates, for reprogramming that would delete everything. “To hack.”
The law states that information must be retained for 22 months, she said.
Towne said his group surveyed cities to determine if people living at addresses voted as listed, but found that some lists had more people voting at that address than they lived there.
She said 13-14% of the votes were cast by people not living at their listed addresses and sent that information to the attorney general’s office.
“We audit the banks” City said, “We should check those ballots.”
When asked by a committee member how many towns had been surveyed, she said two, Waterville Valley and Rye.
Secretary of State David Scanlan has defended the state’s electoral system, saying the great thing about it is that it’s decentralized with local officials running it.
“There are individual failures like we saw in Windham and Bedford, but the system hasn’t failed,” Scanlan said. “Mistakes are made, and when they are, they are held accountable.”
Because the system is decentralized with local volunteers, he said, they would know if something was going on, noting it was not some kind of conspiracy.
Scanlan said his office could do a better job of transparency and training, and a better job of communicating with the public and voters about the checks and balances in place to ensure fair elections.
“I can only express my faith in our electoral process”, Scanlan said, noting that he hadn’t heard any evidence that there was anything wrong on a larger scale.
And he said it would be very difficult to do an audit now, as his office prepares for the 2022 election cycle.
However, many who testified said they had lost faith in the electoral process.
Christopher Bean, a retired civil engineer from Concord, said he always took his responsibility to vote seriously, and leading up to the November 2020 election, he still trusted New Hampshire’s election was accurate.
Based on the work of the NH Voter Integrity Group, his own research, errors and fraud in other states, and the fact that two-thirds of New Hampshire’s voting machines are Dominion, he said he was now concerned about New Hampshire.
“We want a forensic audit to prove our votes were counted,” Bean told the committee.
Marylyn Todd of Nashua, the founder of the NH Voter Integrity Group, said there is evidence there are issues with the last three elections and flashcards.
“It’s all going to be exposed, none of us are going to stop until it’s done.” Todd told the committee: “We have a full crew coming to New Hampshire to do a documentary. It just gets bigger and bigger. You can either join us or you will be eliminated.
She accused Scanlan of lying and told the committee they had two options: get rid of the voting machines or do the forensic audit.
“Give us back our state”, Todd said, “and restore us to sanity.”
Merrimack’s James Wood recently retired and said he had time to watch the nationwide hearings on the election.
He said mainstream media did not cover the hearings, but they were posted on YouTube, but disappeared the next day.
“Why are you doing this if you’re not trying to hide something?” said Wood. “We realize something is wrong in this country, we can’t put our finger on it, but we know it’s there.”
The committee made no immediate recommendations on the bills.
Garry Rayno can be reached at [email protected]