Hundreds of apparent Trump supporters swarmed a town board meeting in New Hampshire in recent days under the pretense of right-wing lies about election fraud. The tumult unfolded at a gathering of the Windham Board of Selectmen, and as summarized by a report from the Associated Press, some 500 people “showed up… waving American flags, carrying bullhorns and lifting signs questioning the presidential election.” In Windham, re-examinations of local election results have revealed votes for Republicans that were originally missed, and prominent right-wingers have falsely suggested that this issue reasonably reflects a possibility of widespread fraud.
After hundreds of missed votes for Republicans were discovered following a recount request from a local Democratic candidate for a state legislative seat who lost their race, the New Hampshire state legislature “overwhelmingly passed a bill authorizing an audit of the town’s ballot counting machines and hand tabulations,” the Associated Press explains. The state’s Republican governor, Chris Sununu, has noted that elections in the state are as a whole “safe, secure, and reliable,” no matter any localized issues.
Sununu disassembled right-wing arguments, commenting:
‘A discrepancy of 300 votes out of over 800,000 cast does not define massive voter fraud by any means. We passed a bill, we’re going to do an audit in Windham. If anything, I think the fact that we focus on 300 votes goes to the integrity of our system. We have the best system in the country, a system where will do any audit even if it’s over a couple hundred votes. And it’s not for President Trump or Chris Sununu or Joe Biden, it’s about the citizens who cast the vote. That’s why we do the audit, to make sure every vote is counted.’
No matter the lack of evidence for the conspiracy theory that the Windham ballot issues reflect systematic fraud, former President Trump himself has lauded what he called the “incredible fight to seek out the truth” in the town, continuing to allege that fraud is the only reason he himself isn’t in the White House. At the Windham town board meeting, Trump supporters who were present demanded the selection of a supposed elections expert named Jovan Hutton Pulitzer as one of the three auditors handling the audit in the town, and to that end, the crowd began angrily chanting at one point: “We want Jovan!” The board didn’t select Pulitzer.
Kristi St. Laurent, the local Democratic candidate whose recount request led to the discovery of the excluded votes, was at the Windham meeting and described the gathered right-wingers as an “angry mob.” According to the Associated Press, the “crowd was so large that the meeting was moved to” a local high school. Check out footage from the raucous scene below: