The Windham, NH selectman’s meeting discussing the status of the recount and investigation into the discrepancies between the machine totals and hand counted ballots brought about 150 people to the Windham High School and over 400 people over Zoom.
Currently, the New Hampshire Secretary of State is in possession of the ballots and the Windham town is in possession of the voting machines. The NH State house is currently in process of passing SB 43, which will allow an additional audit of the Windham, NH election. There is currently some debate on how this will be carried out to maintain transparency.
We questioned an IT veteran with a security background about the voting machines used but this person asked to remain anonymous due to the current political hostility in the nation.
“I looked into this as far back as 2008 and my ultimate conclusion was that voting machines create a new layer of secrecy on how ballots are handled and makes accountability more difficult…”
“Unless all paper ballots are given a manual recount by default with a very secure chain of custody and full transparency of the counting process, election integrity cannot be guaranteed. This means the only purpose of electronic voting machines or electronic ballot counters would be to get a quicker initial result of elections but needs to be followed up with a full hand recount to rule out machine tampering or other issues.”
Our IT expert then referred us to this video from the HBO documentary Hacking Democracy, which features a similar machine to what was used in the Windham elections and throughout New Hampshire (AccuVote OSX) and some other States. It shows how some simple changes to the memory cards can alter election outcomes.
Our expert also made it clear that no connection to the internet was necessary in order to configure the machines to improperly count votes, or to alter the vote counts at the tabulator stage of the process where the final votes from all machines are tabulated.
Despite what this expert thinks, there is still heavy use of electronic voting machines nation wide with hand recounts being difficult to approve and are often deeply frowned upon.
“As someone who has been in IT for decades and have developed software and systems to improve productivity and save time and money for a lot of people, it’s unfortunate I can’t recommend doing the same for elections. If I thought it didn’t introduce security and chain of custody risks I would be all for it.”