On Saturday, the Associated Press reported on a crowd of 500 angry supporters of former President Donald Trump who showed up to a town selectman meeting in Windham, New Hampshire last week, demanding information on supposed voter fraud that happened in the district — even though they won the legislative races in this area.
"The crowd at the Monday meeting had been fired up by conservative media, which in recent weeks has seized on the town's election results for four seats in the state House as suspect," said the report. "The attention, fanned by a Donald Trump adviser who happens to be a Windham resident, has helped a routine recount spiral, ultimately engulfing the town in a false theory that the national election was stolen from Trump. It doesn't seem to matter that Republicans won all four state House seats in question."
Windham, NH Selectmen Meeting www.youtube.com
According to the report, the furor began after Democratic candidate Kristi St. Laurent requested a recount in a race decided by 24 votes — only for Republicans to receive 300 votes and Laurent to lose 99. "The discrepancy inspired the legislature to take up the matter. Lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a bill authorizing an audit of the town's ballot counting machines and hand tabulations. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed the bill and insisted that 'New Hampshire elections are safe, secure, and reliable.'" — but right-wing media raised an uproar over the previously uncounted GOP votes, suggesting with no basis they indicated widespread fraud across the state.
And this prompted Trump to weigh in, suggesting the fraud may have affected him — despite losing by 7 points. At a recent event, Trump claimed ballots were still being "found" in New Hampshire, and he released a statement praising the "great patriots of Windham" for rooting out "massive election fraud."
"Recounts are not unusual in New Hampshire, which elects 424 lawmakers every two years and allows candidates to request recounts if the difference in votes is less than 20% of the total ballots cast," noted the report. "There have been at least 15 recounts after each of the past four election cycles, with only a handful of outcomes changed."
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The Arizona Senate is ditching its controversial measure to knock on doors and ask Arizona residents about their voting history. According to AZCentral, Senate President Karen Fann (R) on Friday penned a letter U.S. Department of Justice detailing the decision.
The ditch effort comes as federal officials expressed concern about how the canvassing could infringe upon residents' civil rights and the laws enacted to put a stop to voter intimidation.
The Arizona Senate contract agreement with Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based firm tapped to conduct the audit, says that a "registration and votes cast team" has already completed work with a number "in order to statistically identify voter registrations that did not make sense, and then knock on doors to confirm if valid voters actually lived at the stated address."
However, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan refused to explain the company's methods for identifying voters but claimed their work was "based on a statistical analysis performed by someone else he would not identify and maintained that canvassers would not ask anyone how they voted."
On Wednesday, May 5, Fann also expressed concern about the nationwide overhauls being made to voting and election practices and how many of the measures appear to be aimed at predominately minority communities. Pamela S. Karlan, who serves as the principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice's department's Civil Rights Division, also weighed in with her concerns.
"Such investigative efforts can have a significant intimidating effect on qualified voters that can deter them from seeking to vote in the future," wrote Karlan.
Although the Arizona Senate has indicated that it will suspend canvassing for the foreseeable future, Fann did not say if the effort would not be revisited in the future.
Fann wrote, "If canvassing is necessary to complete the audit, we believe these protocols, which will be reinforced by thorough training programs, would permit the Senate to discharge its legislative oversight and investigation functions without compromising the rights or privacy of any voter."
'I am a Florida man': Matt Gaetz denies accountability for mounting scandals then blames the 'deep state'
On Saturday, Axios reported that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) continues to take a defiant stance as the scandal-plagued congressman begins his "America First" tour with far-right conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
"I'm a marked man in Congress. I'm a canceled man in some corners of the Internet. I might be a wanted man by the deep state. But I am a Florida man, and it is good to be home," said Gaetz at the first of his rallies. "Today, we send a strong message to the weak establishment in both parties: America First isn't going away. We're going on tour."
Gaetz, a prominent member of the congressional pro-Trump wing, is under federal investigation as part of a child trafficking probe, facing allegations that he and indicted former Florida county tax official Joel Greenberg paid a 17-year-old girl to travel over state lines for sex — something Greenberg has implicated Gaetz in in a confession letter while cooperating with authorities. Also part of the investigation is whether Gaetz used drugs or campaign cash to facilitate these transactions. Gaetz has not currently been charged with any federal crime, and denies any wrongdoing.
Despite the support from Greene, the Republican Party has done little to circle the wagons around him, often dodging questions about the matter entirely.
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