The reliability of voting machines to accurately count votes has come under scrutiny. Especially since the fiasco of the Windham Incident that took place at the November 3, 2020 General Election. Those election results produced the largest numerical discrepancy between election day vote totals and a subsequent hand recount.
That disturbing event triggered people in a few dozen NH towns to submit Warrant Articles seeking to ban the use of voting machines to count votes in their town. Many of those people have reached out to me - asking for examples and reasons for voters to ban voting machines.
Here are 8 reasons:
Reason #1: While it is more work... hand counting ballots has historically been a more accurate way to tally votes.
Reason #2: Voting machines can be easily programmed with malware to produce fraudulent results.
Reason #3: All of NH's voting machines are programmed by a single company with no way for voters to know if the machines were properly programmed. This sets up a scenario of trust with no verify. If election integrity is important, then this should be a red flag.
Reason #4: Voting machines can malfunction and cause ballots to be misread - thereby causing voters to be unknowingly disenfranchised.
Reason #5: Voting machines are NOT consistently accurate from machine to machine (see graph below).
This graph shows the different vote totals that were counted for the Rockingham County District 7 Race in the Windham 11/3/20 Election. It contains the election day totals (11/3/20), the hand recount totals (11/12/20), and the totals that were generated during an audit when all of the ballots were fed through each of the four voting machines
The column titled "11/03/20" shows the total number of votes for each candidate on election day - by adding the vote totals from all four machines.
The column titled "11/12/20" shows the total number of votes for each candidate that were hand counted by the Secretary of State's office.
Reason #6: After the 11/12/20 recount, the four Republican candidates gained close to 300 votes each, the leading Democrat lost 99 votes, and the other three Democrats gained 21, 21 and 18 votes respectfully. The number of votes that were adjusted between election day and the hand recount totaled 1,363. Clearly that many machine related errors are unacceptable for an election where only 10,006 ballots were cast.
The discrepancies above led to an audit where all of the ballots were fed through each machine (See Audit AV1, Audit AV2, Audit AV3 and Audit AV4). The vote totals produced by each machine were NOT consistent - and NONE of the audit machine totals matched the results of the hand recount.
Reason #7: During the audit, some of the machines produced consistent results from machine to machine within 2 votes (Ioana Singureanu), while those same machines produced wildly different results that varied by as many as 55 votes (Bob Lynn). That represents an enormous difference of 54 votes in favor of Ioana Singureanu.
Reason #8: When comparing the results of the hand recount with Audit Machine #4, the difference is a loss of 6 votes for Ioana Singureanu, while the difference for Bob Lynn is a loss of 77 votes. That represents an even more enormous difference of 71 votes in favor of Ioana Singureanu.
The types of discrepancies that took place in the Windham 11/3/20 election appear to have occurred in many other towns across NH. Towns like Derry, Nashua, Merrimack, Bedford, Hookset, Sandown are just a few that showed similar anomalies that mirror what took place in Windham. There are many more. Unfortunately, those in a position to investigate have shown no interest in doing so.
As voters, we are asked to blindly trust the election process with no means to verify. When the integrity of our elections are at stake - that is unacceptable... which is why I believe that hand counting ballots is the best method for counting votes.
If England, Canada and Australia can hand count the votes for their national elections, then NH can hand count votes as well.