An election audit in a New Hampshire town may have discovered why initial results were so far at variance from those revealed in a follow-up hand count.
The audit was triggered because of what happened to Democratic state House candidate Kristi St. Laurent. As of election night, she was short by 24 votes of winning one of the four seats of for grabs in Windham, a town of 10,000.
But when the recount was held, she was 420 votes short.
St. Laurent’s initial total had been overcounted by about 99 votes according to the recount, while the Republicans who finished ahead of her were undercounted in the initial tally.
The audit was held to determine why the initial results were so far off.
The auditors currently suspect that fold lines in the ballots being scanned fooled the machine into thinking that a candidate whose name appeared on a fold line received a vote.
“Something we strongly suspect at this juncture, based on various evidence, is that in some cases, fold lines are being interpreted by the scanners as valid votes,” said independent auditor Mark Lindeman, according to WMUR-TV.
The auditors tried to explain what happened in a series of tweets, noting one instance that showed a discrepancy between what was cast and what was counted, in which only 28 percent of the Republican votes cast were recorded accurately.