Why did voting machine expert Harri Hursti invite the President of the firm who sold the machines to Windham, New Hampshire, to the audit, and was this proper?
It was computer scientist Dr. Harri Hursti who invited, LHS Associates’ President Jeff Silvestro directly onto the floor of the Windham, NH forensic audit of its 2020 election, in close proximity to the Diebold AccuVote Optical Scan (AV-OS) tabulators and their removable memory cards which were used in the 2020 election.
Windham’s residents and voters have been outraged that the man who services the town’s election machines has been allowed to be involved in the audit of those machines.
That this represents a conflict of interest is readily apparent to anyone as we reported a week ago:
Last Saturday, May 22, Hursti told Nick Moseder, a visiting citizen journalist on the scene in Windham, that it was the decision of the forensic audit team to allow Silvestro to be there. That team includes computer scientist and statistician Dr. Philip Stark and political scientist Dr. Mark Lindeman, from the besieged nonprofit Verified Voting. See the 1:16:23 mark in the video below:
Nick Moseder has been providing factual and hard-hitting reports of his on-the-ground observations and interviews in Windham since last week. He doesn’t let up on officials until he gets answers and is confirms he has the correct facts.
Interviewing Hursti and Stark in the parking lot outside the audit building, Moseder asked them if they knew who gave Jeff Silvestro, from LHS Associates, permission to be on the floor and involved in that audit.
Hursti stated that the forensic audit team did. The video reveals that Stark was stunned by this bombshell of an announcement. However, he quickly covered for Hursti, agreeing that it was the decision of the team.
Moseder, quick on the uptake, turned to Stark and reminded him that, in a previous interview he, Stark, had told Moseder that he didn’t know who got the guy onto the audit floor.
Stark then back-pedaled, hemmed and hawed and claimed jet lag, as Hursti quickly jumped in and authoritatively took command of the spin.
Stark clearly had not been updated by Hursti that the story was to be that the entire forensic audit team was responsible for this election machine salesman-President, Jeff Silvestro – the guy who also programs the Windham Diebold AV-OS removable memory cards – being deliberately inserted into the audit.
Thanks to Nick Moseder, Windham and New Hampshire citizens, and the world, now know that Dr. Harri Hursti apparently made the decision to get this election machine fixer into the audit. Hursti also just took it upon himself to speak on the team’s behalf, while adding this new member to that team.
The Silvestro family has been affiliated for decades with LHS Associates and is the vendor in most New England states for Dominion Voting Systems’ Image-Cast electronic election machines and supplies.
In addition to servicing these older Diebold units, LHS Associates also programs their old-style, removable memory cards.
That fact was confirmed by an undated New Hampshire Secretary of State document:
Dominion Voting Systems currently owns the intellectual property rights of the AccuVote device through the acquisition of another voting services company. Former owners of the AccuVote include Business Records Corp., Global, Diebold, ES&S, Premier and others. Dominion Voting Systems has never manufactured or programmed the devices used in New Hampshire. A long-time local vendor, LHS Associates from Salem, NH, sells and services the AccuVote ballot counting devices used in New Hampshire and other New England states. They also program the memory card used in each AccuVote device to properly read and record the choices made on each ballot as it is fed through the machine.
We know for a fact that for some unknown reason that Stark was not present all week and Lindeman was absent on the two days, last Tuesday and Wednesday, upon which the team had previously decided they were to audit the Diebold memory cards and their accompanying AV-OS tabulators.
This left Hursti with no checks and balances upon his work during an expensive and critical forensic audit, a practice which is not standard procedure in forensic audits like this one.
Hursti’s response to that issue when a resident raised it during a public Q&A , was to express indignation at the question and to point to all the cameras on him as he worked alone.
That, of course, was an evasive answer. Cameras are no substitute for trained, professionals checking each other’s work and findings in real time during an audit.
In addition, there are many, many things that an auditor in this position could be doing while his or her back is to the cameras, which would remain forever invisible to the public-at-large.
Why did Harri Hursti need to have Jeff Silvestro present as he audited these election machines and, as important, their memory cards?
We don’t know. It is all very troubling.
This isn’t the first time Hursti has had an encounter with a Silvestro with Diebold AV-OS tabulators in the picture.
During Hursti’s September 19, 2007 testimony in front of the NH House Election Law Committee, as he blasted the Diebold AV-OS machines, you can see a guy seated behind him who had the nerve to jump up, interrupt him and literally start promoting Diebold voting machines directly to the legislators!
That Diebold salesman was Jeff Silvestro’s father, John.
Once again, 14 years later, a Silvestro, this time Jeff, has boots on the ground where there’s a threat to business with the government, this time on the floor of the Windham forensic audit.
LHS Associates, President Jeff Silvestro and his father John, its CEO and Treasurer, could stand to lose a lot of money if Windham residents and taxpayers, disgusted with these election machines, decided – after this disaster of an audit – that they’re going to ditch these machines and go back to good old-fashioned hand-counted paper ballots, counted in public in front of everybody, with that count completed as soon as possible after the polls close on Election Day.
The Silvestro’s have a vested interest in preserving the status quo and their product’s reputation.
In fact, it appears that LHS has a corner on the market upon the sale of electronic voting machines in New Hampshire. The same Secretary of State document cited, above, states:
The AccuVote machines are the only ones approved for use by the NH Ballot Law Commission (RSA 656:41), and the last approval to upgrade the AccuVote was issued in 2010. The decision to use an AccuVote ballot counting device is made at the local level, and is usually made to reduce the resources needed to conduct a hand-count.
Since the majority of New England states also contract with LHS Associates for their election machine purchases and service contracts, business could really tank if this Windham forensic audit revealed that these units and their memory cards are old and problematic.
On the other hand, that opens up the market to a whole series of brand new electronic voting machine contracts and service agreements for LHS Associates.
We are left with these two, troubling questions:
- Why were the decks cleared last Wednesday and Thursday leaving Dr. Harry Hursti as the only member of the forensic audit team present who, we now know, is the one who wanted Jeff Silvestro side-by-side with him?
- What was the purpose in Hursti having a representative of LHS Associates, which programs these Diebold memory cards, next to him while he audited the Diebold AV-OS removable memory cards and their tabulators?