May 4—WINDHAM — It seemed at times more like a rowdy political rally than a Board of Selectmen meeting.
But that's what officials got Monday night as they maneuvered their way through a meeting that, at times, turned into a shouting match from the crowd while selectmen repeatedly called for calm and respect.
The public displays of contention and almost constant interruption came as Selectman Bruce Breton urged his fellow selectmen to reconsider a vote taken a week ago to choose someone to help Windham in an upcoming state forensic audit of the town's election results from the Nov. 3 election.
Selectmen Ross McLeod, Heath Partington, and Roger Hohenberger all voted on April 26 to support Mark Lindeman, co-director of the organization Verified Voting, as the top choice for the town's audit designee with Breton putting his faith instead behind another interested candidate, Jovan Hutton Pulitzer.
And all three said they would not reconsider their original decision to pick Lindeman, standing by all the research and public input leading up to the vote.
The crowd, filling the high school auditorium and yelling much support for Breton, gave more backlash with many holding signs, waving American flags and bombarding selectmen as they tried to speak.
"You don't want to listen to what you don't want to hear," McLeod, the board's chairman, said.
The audit comes after months of uncertainty due to a state recount of District 7 state representative votes from the Nov. 3 election that showed big discrepancies between the state and the town vote tally.
Gov. Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 43 into law last month, authorizing a forensic audit to analyze the Windham's four AccuVote machines and the ballots. The audit has to be done within a certain time frame after the bill's signing.
Breton maintained the original vote was wrong.
In a statement last week, he cited conflicts of interest, as Lindeman was among a list of signatures on a letter expressing opposition to the election audit currently taking place in Arizona's Maricopa County.
Breton also said Lindeman did not have the expertise needed to be part of the audit team and felt Pulitzer had the best credentials.
Breton also spoke out about his opposition on social media, recently appearing on a conservative program produced by The Gateway Pundit.
On that program, Breton appeared with Windham's Ken Eyring, also very vocal about the audit process in Windham.
"I call it the Windham fiasco," Breton said when describing the election problems.
Eyring said he never took the position that "anything nefarious" took place during the town election last fall.
"But we need answers," he said.
New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner and Attorney General John Fornella announced in a joint statement Monday that the state chose Harri Hursti to be its audit representative.
Hursti, is a founding partner for Nordic Innovation Labs and is well known for data security knowledge and election security. He and Lindeman and their teams will be joined by a third designee to handle the audit.