The much-anticipated forensic audit of the disputed state representative race in Windham began in workmanlike fashion Tuesday.

The goal of opening day was for the audit organizers to take physical custody of the four AccuVote automated counting machines used in the town, along with more than 20 boxes of paper ballots cast in the election.

All the materials were being delivered to the Edward Cross Training Center on the New Hampshire National Guard campus in Pembroke, where the audit will take place.

Seating for the audit is limited to about 60 people. On Tuesday, that included the media, state officials, election volunteers and a group of Windham residents who won a lottery to attend in person.

All proceedings in the audit will be livestreamed on the state Department of Justice website.

Over the next two weeks, the three-person audit team will try to come up with an explanation for the large discrepancy between the vote totals that came from automated vote-counting machines on Nov. 3 and a hand recount of all the ballots three weeks later.

After the recount, all four Republican candidates for the four House seats representing Windham received 300 ballots more than were reported on Election Night.

Kristi St. Laurent, the top-finishing Democrat who came in fifth, lost nearly 100 votes as a result of the recount.


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