New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill requiring an investigation of how votes were tallied in Windham last fall on Monday, April 12.

The bill, namely SB 43, will authorize an investigation into the Rockingham County District 7 state representative campaign. It will provide a complete audit of the AccuVote optical scanning machines, memory cards, ballots, and other evidence from the Windham election in New Hampshire. 

A report will be filed 45 days after the audit.

News : Governor Chris Sununu Signs SB 43 :

— NHgov (@NHgov) April 12, 2021

“New Hampshire elections are safe, secure, and reliable,” Sununu said in a statement after signing the bill. 

“Out of the hundreds of thousands of ballots cast this last year, we saw only very minor, isolated issues — which is proof our system works. This bill will help us audit an isolated incident in Windham and keep the integrity of our system intact,” the governor added.

The controversy in Windham began after a recount in the race for the town’s fourth House seat between Republican Julius Soti and Democrat Kristi St. Laurent, according to The New Hampshire Union Leader.

St. Laurent requested the recount after Soti won by 24 votes on election night. Following the recount, Soti’s margin of victory grew larger to 424 votes.

The recount also discovered about 300 more votes for all four House Republican candidates. St. Laurent’s vote total fell by 99 votes after the recount, but the three Democratic candidates who came in second to her each received 20 to 28 more votes.

Many critics have used these findings to question the quality of the electronic voting machines used in 85% of New Hampshire’s cities and towns.

Ken Eyring, a Windham conservative activist, said he was glad Sununu signed the bill into law and hoped it would address many unanswered questions about the troubling vote differences, Patch reported.

Eyring proclaimed that very few competent individuals or teams could conduct the forensic audit thoroughly and adequately, and selecting the wrong people would send the impression that “this issue is being disregarded and swept under the rug — and that will not be acceptable.”

Last month, Secretary of State Bill Gardner proposed a process to perform the audit, claiming it would be the first in New Hampshire’s 45-year history as the state’s highest election official.

Since then, Gardner and Ken Eyring have devised a procedure that calls for a team of hand-picked forensic experts to investigate the four AccuVote machines used to count ballots in Windham.

Two experts, Col. Phil Waldron and Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, were among the possible analysts. These are two experts who were renowned for questioning the outcome of presidential elections in several states last fall.

The public will be able to attend the forensic audit, which would take place at the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council complex in Concord.

Both ballots will be run via these four machines, and analysts will examine the tapes from those machines.

In addition to the state representative race at issue, the plan also requires a hand count of two other races on the Windham ballot.

Last week, the New Hampshire Senate voted 24-0 to accept Gardner’s suggested amendments to the final bill.

“We are pleased that the Senate and the House have reached agreement on this important and timely piece of legislation,” said Sen. James Gray, R-Rochester, who chairs the Senate Elections and Municipal Affairs Committee. 

“Ensuring the integrity of our election process is one of the most important responsibilities we have as legislators,” Gray said.

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