Windham emails provide window into election distrust

  • New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Vincent Grieco leads other officer and the Windham Police as they bring in the ballot boxes along with the electronic voting machines for the Forensic Election Audit to the Edward Cross Training Center Pembroke on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER

  • Under the watchful eye of many, €”including a video documentation, cyber security expert Harri Hursti (right) and Windham Police Captain Michael Caron (center) check in the electronic voting machines from the town as the process of the forensic election audit gets started at the Edward Cross Training Center in Pembroke on May 11. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 8/28/2021 9:38:30 PM

In a small white building, with green shutters to match the door, six binders with thousands of emails tell a story of outrage and distrust in an election system.

The aftermath of a recount, forensic audit and sheer uproar over the November election still ring through this southern New Hampshire town as the state continues to release reports on how Windham got its election results wrong.

The State of New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission released a final report last week on how three Republican candidates, who won the election, were shortchanged about 300 votes apiece.

“The commission finds that the discrepancies in Windham in November, 2020 were the result of a unique set of circumstances, not the result of malfunctioning of the ballot counting devices, and are not likely to reoccur,” the report reads.

The commission reaffirmed the results of the recount and offered an explanation for why Democrats were initially given more votes than deserved. Folds in the ballots interfered with the scanner’s ability to correctly read the ballots. The machines often misread the fold as a vote for a Democrat, but in some cases that meant a vote for four candidates vying for three State Representative seats, which invalided the ballot. Hand counting revealed the true totals, according to the commission.

“The commission finds that the presently authorized AccuVote machines are capable of continuing to meet the requirements for elections held in New Hampshire,” the report concludes.

Still, separating fact from fiction regarding the November election continues to be a point of debate.

The Windham results were seen by supporters of former President Donald Trump as evidence of election fraud that titled results toward Democrats. The accusations still haunt the state, which prides itself on accurate election results and its first-in-the-nation primary. Just last month, Trump continued his narrative that the election was stolen from him in New Hampshire on the Howie Carr Show.

“We won that area, and they said we lost it,” Trump told Carr. “Now they found out we won it. It’s a disgrace.”

Despite the hand count, the recount and even the audit, Windham became the epicenter of a conspiracy tale of election fraud.

Emails to the Board of Selectmen and town election officials rained in from New Hampshire residents, out-of-state news followers and others across the country.

Subject lines of “NO LEFT-Wing (Marxist) Organization To Rubber Stamp Election Results”, “you people are a joke”, “STOP the Corruption! Choose Jovan Hutton Pulitzer!” were ones of many, obtained by the Monitor through a public records request.

In David Sullivan’s office, the town administrator has binders of email correspondence received throughout the election. A white 5-inch binder titled “general email correspondence” holds over 950 emails of comments about the audit process the town received.

“I am writing to you as a concerned voter of the 2020 Elections In Windham, NH,” wrote resident Kimberly Zambrello. “My vote was stolen using ES&S voting systems. This has been confirmed during a hand recount.”

In the small white building across from town hall, Sullivan’s office sits adjacent to the parks and recreation desk. A meeting on playground safety and accessibility played in the background, as Sullivan detailed the avalanche of emails.

Themes of voting systems, fraud and a stolen election rang through hundreds of pages of correspondence from near and far.

“STOP acting like children and PROVE wyndham voted… right or wrong. What is IT you folks are hiding… IF the vote was legit there should BE NO FEAR!” wrote JoAnn Fox, from Strasburg, Ohio.

After Governor Chris Sununu authorized the audit in April, the Windham Board of Selectman chose one of three auditors to help conduct the review.

The monthlong period following Sununu’s announcement where proposals from auditors were reviewed, and the town’s announcement that the Board of Selectmen would vote on auditor candidates in a private session selection drew another deluge of emails.

“Honestly, by pulling this ‘secret selection’ stunt, clearly exemplifies that you all have something to hide. So, I beseech you to be completely and totally transparent and honest with the ENTIRE forensic auditing process,” an unsigned email read from the address name of Joyful Salutations.

Ultimately, the board reversed its decision and held a public vote confirming its selection of Mark Lindeman, the acting co-director of Verified Voting, a non-profit organization that focuses on technology use in elections.

Comments regarding Lindeman’s selection fill three more binders with over 1,000 pages.

“Mark Lindeman was outspoken in his OPPOSITION AGAINST the Audit in Maricopa County, Arizona (because he knew his Democrat buddies would be CAUGHT in their crime and he doesn’t want that),” wrote Shane Skinner.

“ENOUGH GAMES! STOP with this CORRUPTION! Give We The People what we WANT and NEED and PICK JovanHutton Pulitzer! We DEMAND it!” he continued.

Calls to select Pulitzer, a former treasure hunter and inventor who claimed he could tell the difference between real and fake ballots, provided an influx of responses.

One Windham resident took matters into her own hands to show the board Pulitzer was the preferred pick, knocking on 1,100 doors asking residents their preference. Marylyn Todd, the author of the letter, provided signed statements indicating that over 75% of her sample preferred Pulitzer.

“I am submitting to you our evidence, on behalf of a random sampling of over 1,100 citizens from Windham that shows, in fact, you acted in opposition to the will of the citizens whom you are to represent, protect, and swore to uphold an unbiased and non-preselected approach to issues we endure as a town,” she wrote.

Pulitzer, himself, was among the dissenters.

“Seeing how Mr. Lindeman is an operative plant, the people should expect no less than such from compromised state officials,” he wrote after the board of selectmen informed him he was not chosen for the role.

The team of three auditors ultimately attributed the vote discrepancies to a borrowed folding machine that led to “unforeseen consequences and misfortune.”

Windham will continue the same election process for its next vote, despite the uproar from 2020, and they don’t expect a repeat.

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