NH AG office orders 190 uncounted ballots in Bedford election in 2020, kept secret for a year

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A year after the election that swept President Donald Trump and ruling New Hampshire Republicans, some 190 ballots cast by voters in Bedford are still not counted, on orders from the state attorney general’s office , NHJournal learned.

The misplaced mail-in ballots, which were discovered just days after the November 3, 2020 election, were withheld for a year due to decisions made by Secretary of State Bill Gardner and Attorney General’s office. then Gordon MacDonald.

“In reviewing this case, this office concludes that those 190 mail-in ballots would not have affected the outcome of any of the races on the ballot in Bedford in the 2020 general election,” Myles Matteson wrote from the Attorney General’s Office to City of Bedford officials in a letter dated October 21, 2021. A copy of this letter is being sent to the approximately 190 residents who voted last November by Bedford Clerk Sally Kellar and Moderator of the city, William Klein.

These ballots remain unopened and uncounted.

According to Matteson, the existence of the unposted mail-in ballots was discovered soon after the election.

“Deputy Registrar [Gloria] Mac Vane reconciled the number of ballots distributed with the number of ballots cast. During this process, she discovered that there was a difference of about 190 less ballots than the number distributed. The number of recorded mail ballots received was 7,917. The total number of recorded mail ballots was 7,727, ”Matteson wrote.

“On November 8, 2020, Deputy Clerk MacVane attributed the cause of this discrepancy to an error made in processing mail-in ballots on Election Day. [sic]. “

Because the ballots were kept secret, they were also kept out of the Bedford recount in the state’s District 9 Senate race between then-incumbent Jeanne Dietsch and newly-elected Republican Denise. Ricciardi. This count took place on November 10, after the discovery of the ballots not deposited.

Dietsch called off the recount when the results started to benefit Ricciardi. Ricciardi’s official victory as reported by the Secretary of State’s office was 17,920 to 17,511, but that does not include the changes discovered in the unfinished recount.

Why weren’t the ballots just counted on November 8? Why was their existence kept secret? Why weren’t they used in the recount?

Kellar and Klein point fingers at the Secretary of State and Attorney General.

“When we discovered [the uncast ballots]we immediately reported it to the New Hampshire Secretary of State, ”they wrote in their letter to affected Bedford voters. “We were advised to keep these ballots in a safe place and to wait for further instructions before taking further action. The following week we were informed that the case had been referred to the NH Attorney General’s office for investigation. The Attorney General requested information from us and we submitted it on November 19, 2020.

“We were told not to discuss this with anyone, not even city council, as it was an ongoing investigation,” Kellar and Klein said.

This story unfolds with the ongoing debate over the legitimacy of the 2020 election in the background. Political insiders familiar with the events say decisions made by the attorney general’s office may have been influenced by the events in Windham when a voting machine error caused a significant error in the first reported results. Supporters of Trump’s frequently repeated (and frequently debunked) claims that the election was stolen due to widespread electoral fraud have used the Windham incident to support their calls for a statewide election audit. New Hampshire.

“The attorney general’s office saw this unfold and they didn’t want to add fuel to the fire,” a source speculated.

MacDonald is currently Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire.

Representatives of the GA and the Secretary of State’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

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