By Alice Giordano. Media: The Epoch Times.
The New Hampshire Democrat Party has filed a lawsuit to stop a recount for a statehouse seat, arguing that the election results should stand, even if they are wrong.
In the lawsuit, which was filed on Nov. 18, the Democrats are seeking a permanent injunction against any further audits of the race results between Republican Larry Gange and Democrat Maxine Mosley for one of the New Hampshire House of Representatives seats in Manchester, the state’s largest city.
Democrats argue that state law prohibits any further audits of election results once the secretary of state declares a winner.
“At the conclusion of the recount, Democrat Maxine Mosley was declared the winner by the secretary of state. The secretary of state’s declaration of Mosley’s victory was posted on the secretary of state’s website,” the lawsuit states.
Republicans called the lawsuit a desperate move by the Democrats to overcome the Republicans’ one-seat hold over the 400-seat House that was born out of the midterm elections.
“If the split was wider than than the current 200 to 199 seat for the House, I doubt there would be a lawsuit,” Bill O”Brien, attorney for the New Hampshire Republican Party told The Epoch Times.
Democrats are already facing the loss of another seat with a recount for a statehouse seat where the candidates receives the same number of votes. If the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission can’t resolve the tie, a vote of the newly-seated Legislature will decide its outcome.
O’Brien, who is a former speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, said the secretary of state never declared a winner in the race, but instead only posted results prior to a discrepancy discovery when the secretary of state conducted an audit of the gubernatorial race in the same district.
Mosley called for the initial recount after election results showed Gagne had beat her by 23 votes.
The recount handed Mosley a one-vote lead. However, when Scanlan’s office conducted an audit of the gubernatorial results in the district, Republicans noticed the audit turned up 25 votes not included in the original tally in the Gagne and Mosley race.
When the discrepancy was pointed out, Scanlan agreed that more auditing of the race needed to be conducted, a conclusion that drew criticism from the Democrats.
“It’s unfortunate that Secretary Scanlan is clearly ignoring New Hampshire election law, but we will do whatever it takes to protect the integrity of our elections,” Colin Booth, Communications Director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party said in a statement.
The Democratic Party cites two laws that they say make the declaration of election results by the Secretary of State final, “subject to only a limited basis of appeal” to the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission.
O’Brien said it would be unconstitutional for the votes to be counted regardless of any law the Democrats are making their argument under. “Even if the statute reads the way they think it does and even if the secretary of state announced the results and put a winner up on its website, voters still have the constitutional rights to have all their voters counted,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Donna Soucy is named alongside Mosley as a plaintiff in the lawsuit. O’Brien said the Republican party will file its answer on Nov. 21 along with a counterclaim against the Democrats.
The Democrats’ lawsuit was filed by Shaheen & Gordon, a law firm co-owned by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-N.H.) husband Bill Shaheen. Bill Christie, who is married to New Hampshire Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington, a Democrat, is also representing the Democratic party in the suit.
According to Scanlan’s office, the audit of the election results has been reschedule to Nov. 22 pending the court’s ruling on the Democrats’ request to enjoin any further examination of ballots in the race. The suit is pending before the Merrimack County Superior Court.
The issue sparked off a social media debate over the weekend with Democrats and Republicans accusing each other of interfering with election integrity and bringing up old debates from the 2020 Presidential elections, which many Republicans believe were the result of voter fraud.