Windham Election Auditors Confirm Folding Machine Problem ‘Root Cause’ for Votes Gap, Recount Totals

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External experts who earlier this year verified a major discrepancy between Election Day and the total recount votes in the Windham State Officials Contest concluded that the absentee ballots incorrectly typed were to blame. (This news report will be updated. Stay with WMUR and WMUR .com for more details.) A 121-page report from listeners Harri Hursti, Mark Lindeman and Philip Stark, detailing their review in May, concluded: was handled well under difficult circumstances, and we confirmed the number of ballots cast to within two rounds. “” We have found no basis to believe that the counting errors found in Windham indicate a pattern of partisan bias or a failed election, “the report concluded. >> READ the audit report here. The report has was released Tuesday morning by the state Department of Justice, which said: “The forensic audit report confirms the accuracy of the Sta’s account of the state representative’s race from District 7 de Rockingham, confirmed by the unanimous vote of the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission. and all recommendations made therefrom. “Basically the big gap between the election night totals and the two-handed tally in the contest for representatives of the state in Windham can be attributed to unintended consequences and calamities, “the report said.” Election officials in a hurry borrowed a folder to send out thousands of postal ballots more quickly, and votes out of about 400 ballots were poorly counted. The folder issue arose during the audit process in May. As the auditors explained in their report: “This audit found that the main cause of the discrepancy was the bending of the voting targets on some mail ballots, resulting in large part from the use of a machine for folding postal ballots. the voting targets, which voters would mark for a candidate. In many cases, according to the report, the folds were directly linked to voting targets in the state official contest, “which scanners interpreted as an attempt to vote a substantial fraction of the time.” the hand-recount did not count the folds as votes. A recount of Election Day 2020 results requested by Democratic candidate Kristi St. Laurent, who finished behind the top four Tes Republican candidates, showed that each of the four winning Republicans picked up around 300 votes and St. Laurent lost 99 votes, dropping his losing margin from just 24 votes to over 400 votes. “The audit found that many ballots were not folded correctly to avoid voting targets, and that folds through Kristi St. Laurent’s voting target were particularly common,” the report said. “We estimate that about 44% of the folds through the targets were interpreted as marked ovals in November, and experiments conducted during the audit showed rates of around 20 percent to over 72 percent. cent. ”The report noted that the folding machine had been“ rented by the city for other purposes. ”And, according to the report,“ the problem may have been exacerbated by inadequate maintenance which allowed a build-up of white powder inside the scanners, clogging the lenses.

External experts who earlier this year verified a major discrepancy between Election Day and the total votes cast in the Windham State Officials Contest concluded that the absentee ballots improperly typed were out of order. blame.

(This news report will be updated. Stay with WMUR and WMUR.com for more details.)

A 121-page report by listeners Harri Hursti, Mark Lindeman and Philip Stark, detailing their review in May, concluded: “Despite the bending machine problem, for the most part our audit found that Windham’s election went wrong. went well under difficult circumstances, and we confirmed the number of votes cast to within two rounds.

“We have found no basis to believe that the counting errors found in Windham indicate a pattern of partisan bias or a failed election,” the report concluded.

>> READ the audit report here.

The report was released Tuesday morning by the state’s Justice Department, which said: “The forensic audit report confirms the accuracy of the state’s recount of the representative’s race. State of District 7 of Rockingham, confirmed by unanimous vote of the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission. . “

The ministry said it would now prepare, with Secretary of State William Gardner, their own report on the results of the audit “and any resulting recommendations”.

“Basically, the large discrepancy between the election night totals and the two-handed tally in the state officials contest in Windham can be attributed to unintended consequences and misfortune,” the report said.

“Election officials in a hurry borrowed a folder to mail out thousands of postal ballots faster, and the votes on about 400 ballots were miscounted as a result.

The problem with the folder arose during the audit process in May.

As the statutory auditors explained in their report:

“This audit found that the main cause of the discrepancy was the folding of the voting targets on some mail-in ballots, resulting in large part from the use of a machine to fold the mail-in ballots.”

The machine did not fold the ballots along pre-marked score lines between voting targets, which voters would mark for a candidate.

In many cases, according to the report, the folds were directly linked to voting targets in the state official contest, “which scanners interpreted as attempts to vote a substantial fraction of the time.”

The manual recount did not count the folds as votes.

A recount of Election Day 2020 results requested by Democratic candidate Kristi St. Laurent, who finished behind the top four Republican candidates, showed that each of the four winning Republicans won around 300 votes and that St. Laurent lost 99 votes. , thus losing its losing margin. from just 24 voices to over 400 voices.

“The audit found that many ballots were not folded correctly in order to avoid voting targets, and that folds through Kristi St. Laurent’s voting target were particularly common,” the report said. .

“We estimate that about 44% of the folds through the targets were interpreted as marked ovals in November, and experiments conducted during the audit showed rates of around 20% to over 72%.”

The report stated that the folder had been “rented by the city for other purposes”.

And, according to the report, “The problem may have been exacerbated by inadequate maintenance which allowed white powder to build up inside the scanners, clogging the lenses.”


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