Windham selectman calls foul over audit representative selection

Bruce Breton.

fWINDHAM — A selectman hopes to change the outcome of a recent vote to choose a representative to participate in a forensic audit of Windham's election results and voting machines from the Nov. 3 general election.

Bruce Breton released a statement this week, asking his fellow selectmen to reconsider a 3-1 vote taken April 26 that selected Mark Lindeman, co-director of the organization Verified Voting, as the town's designee for the upcoming audit, citing conflicts of interest.

Selectmen Ross McLeod, Heath Partington, and Roger Hohenberger all voted to support Lindeman as the top choice with Breton putting his faith instead behind another interested candidate, Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, as the town's audit designee.

Selectman Jennifer Simmons did not attend that meeting to cast a vote.

The audit comes after months of uncertainty due to a state recount of District 7 state representative votes from the Nov. 3 election that showed big discrepancies between the state and the town vote tally.

On April 12, Gov. Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 43 into law, authorizing a forensic audit to find out what exactly happened.

 

Windham currently has four AccuVote machines that will be examined as part of the audit. All ballots will be run through all the machines used by the town during the Nov. 3 election. There will also be a hand count of the ballots.

Breton said Lindeman has a definite conflict of interest representing Windham and New Hampshire's citizens as a forensic auditor, citing Lindeman joining in to sign a letter to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, expressing opposition to the election audit currently taking place in that state's Maricopa County.

In the letter sent to Fann in Arizona, Verified Voting joined in with a long list of election law experts, administrators, voting rights experts and national security representatives to voice concern about the public being restricted from having access to the audit currently taking place on 2.1 million ballots from the November election. The letter urged Fann to grant public observation to representatives from nonpartisan American organizations and education institutions.

"This audit, which will include recounting ballots cast for U.S. President, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, is a matter of concern to all Americans," the letter read. "The Arizona Senate must not prohibit access to election administration and voting equipment experts from nonpartisan American organizations that support free, fair and secure elections." 

For Breton, he said the board should reconsider.

"I believe my colleagues on the board have made a mistake, and must have an opportunity to correct it immediately," he said in his statement, "Time is of the essence, as SB 43 mandates the forensic audit be completed within 45 days of the passage of the bill."

 

 

Breton also urged selectmen to move the next meeting to the Windham High auditorium to have enough space for residents who wish to attend. But the May 3 meeting is still scheduled for 6:30 at the Community Development space at 3 Lowell Road. 

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