Editor’s note: The town of Windham, New Hampshire, is presently conducting an audit of its Nov. 3, 2020 election, in which a hand recount one week later revealed that four Republican candidates each gained about 300 votes not counted on Election Night. Vermont uses the same Diebold AccuVote-OS vote tabulators owned by Dominion and managed by LHS Associates, of Salem, N.H. The following article by Ken Eyring has been republished with permission from GraniteGrok.
By Ken Eyring
Boxes of ballots and tally sheets from the forensic audit were resealed with tamper proof tape in a faulty manner last night. When properly applied – tamper-proof tape will protect the integrity of the contents within the boxes that are sealed – and in this case, protect the integrity of the election audit.
But not last night — and perhaps not any night.
With the room almost empty of observers, Philip Stark was wrapping up the day (yesterday) by placing the day’s tally sheets for the hand recount into a box. I noticed a plethora of tamper-proof tape that had been previously applied to the box and cover.
As Associate AG Anne Edwards carefully the new tamper proof tape to the box – directly on top of the previously applied tape, no part of the new tape was affixed to the cardboard portion of the box.
This is a short clip that only captured the end of the sealing process for one of the boxes. But you can clearly see the new tape is affixed directly on top of the old tape.
I pointed this out to Phillip Stark in a conversation that was captured on video:
Eyring: “The tamper-proof tape was just put over tamper-proof tape… and it came off the roll of tamper proof tape.”
Stark: “The roll gets locked up separately, they take the roll with them.”
Eyring: “But I’ll bet you can take that tape off and not even know that it was on there because you put it over the tape instead of the box.
Stark: (pause) It’s possible. So… if we were going to be completely religious about this, the tamper-proof tape actually has numbers on it at every interval and we would see, we would, we would record the numbers on the tamper proof tape. Um, to see whether it was the same numbers the next time we opened the box.
Eyring: “But that’s not tamper-proof. That’s not really sealed in my mind.”
Stark: (throws hands in the air) OK, um, there’s going to be cameras on it all night. There’s State Troopers out front. Its… I mean… we’re trying, (laugh).
That may be true – but “trying” infers a lack of concern from the auditors. There needs to be a series of checks and balances. (You may need to turn up the volume to hear the conversation.)
After the camera was abruptly turned off, Stark added, “if there was fissionable nuclear material in the boxes, they may warrant a higher level of security”, to which I replied, “this is no less important.. this is our state election.”
Every aspect of security should be taken seriously. This forensic audit seeks to answer serious questions regarding the largest numerical vote discrepancy in the history of NH. The results could raise questions about the integrity of the voting machines statewide – and by extension, the integrity of the November 2020 general election. There are huge implications.
After my conversation above, I felt an uneasy concern that Stark and Edwards were just putting on a show for public optics, instead of being truly concerned about actually securing the contents of the boxes.
To his credit, Stark brought a previously sealed empty box over to me to test my theory. It had tamper-proof tape that was applied over tamper-proof tape. The results confirmed my concerns. The top layer of tape could be easily removed and re-attached as if it were a post-it note.
When the auditors and AG’s office show a lack of concern for properly applying the tamper-proof tape, it leads to justifiable questions by the public regarding the legitimacy of the audit process. Especially since there were camera issues on multiple nights where the 24/7 live-stream video feed was down or frozen for extended periods of time. Those are the same cameras that Stark referred to as justification for not needing to properly seal the ballot boxes.