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Unvetted claims folded into NH voter confidence draft report

Some committee members and observers said the report, if left in its current form, will blur the line between what the public said and what the committee concluded.
Unvetted claims folded into NH voter confidence draft report
Members of the Special Committee on Voter Confidence meet Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, at the state archives in Concord. From left to right: Andrew Georgevits of Concord, Bradford E. Cook of Manchester, Ken Eyring of Windham, Richard Swett of Bow, NH Secretary of State's Office spokesperson Anna Fay (not a committee member), Douglass Teschner of Haverhill, Olivia Zink of Franklin and James Splaine of Portsmouth. Amanda Merrill of Durham (not pictured) participated over the phone. (Steven Porter | Granite Memo)

CONCORD — The final report being drafted by the Special Committee on Voter Confidence isn't finished yet. But it's getting close. And the process is fueling concerns about the spread of misinformation.

The draft report doesn't just outline the committee's findings and recommendations. It also recites numerous election-related claims without regard for whether they are true or false.

The claims were made by members of the public during a series of meetings the committee held over the summer. The claims are listed in a roughly three-page summary that describes the public's comments without adding any discussion or analysis.

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The summary refers to "potentially serious concerns" found by "citizen audits," alludes to "out-of-state people/students voting in NH elections" and conjures the image of "vote tabulations taking place un-monitored in the back of polling places," according to a recent draft reviewed by Granite Memo and discussed during a public meeting Tuesday. The summary also notes that unnamed people have described "voting machines" as a "black box" and "old technology" with vulnerabilities.

The report doesn't clearly attribute those claims, doesn't explain what the claims mean and doesn't present any direct criticism or rebuttal, even though multiple committee members said they believe the summary includes unreliable information.

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