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Member of new N.H. voter commission aimed at uprooting conspiracies previously claimed China hacked into U.S. elections

photo of Ken Eyring
Todd Bookman
Ken Eyring during the first meeting of a new Commission on Voter Confidence.

New Hampshire Sec. of State David Scanlan’s new Commission on Voter Confidence includes the type of membership to be expected on a blue-ribbon body: former state lawmakers and local grassroots activists, a former ambassador to Denmark and the current head of the state’s Ballot Law Commission.

But at least one member of the new nine-person commission appears to have engaged in the type of conspiratorial conduct the commission is aiming to root out as it seeks to boost faith in elections, including writing that foreign nations have interfered in the voting process.

Ken Eyring, a conservative activist from Windham and a regular contributor to the website Granite Grok, previously blogged about China interfering in Georgia’s elections through voting machines, a dubious claim that doesn’t appear to have any validity.

In a 2021 post, Eyring linked to a video purporting to include evidence that Chinese officials had infiltrated vote-counting machines. Eyring wrote that if you believe that “no election fraud took place on November 3rd--then get your head out of the sand.”

In other posts, Eyring has sought to sow doubt about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, writing in a blog post headlined “NH Governor Sununu: You Are Responsible if a Child is Injured or Dies!” that children are “naturally immune” to the virus. In fact, many children have gotten sick from COVID-19 and some have died.

Following the voter confidence group’s first meeting on Monday — a largely administrative gathering where a meeting schedule was approved— Eyring told reporters that his previously stated positions were not relevant to the work of the group.

“My concerns and my thoughts regarding anything outside of the commission are irrelevant to this commission,” said Eyring. “This is all about voter confidence and voter integrity.”

Eyring noted that he had previously expressed his thoughts related to election integrity to Scanlan, and he believed that was why he was asked to serve on the commission.

“There are concerns. Some of them may not be valid, some of them I believe are valid,” said Eyring.

The Secretary of State’s office declined to comment on Eyring’s inclusion on the commission. Scanlan did not attend Monday’s first meeting of the commission after testing positive for COVID-19.

Eyring, a founder of the Government Integrity Project, a conservative activist group, has spoken in favor of legislation to ban the use of ballot counting machines in the state, and has also written extensively about errors in the town of Windham during the 2020 election, where an audit found improperly folded ballots led machines to produce inaccurate results on election night.

Eyring declined Monday to answer questions about who he believes won the 2020 presidential election. “I’m not going to answer your question. This is not about me,” he said.

A group of protestors from the progressive Kent Street Coalition attended Monday’s meeting, concerned about Eyring’s inclusion in the group. The coalition also said the commission’s lack of diversity posed a threat to its ability to adequately capture the sentiments and concerns of the state’s non-white, disabled and younger voters.

The group will hold its next meeting on May 13 in Concord, where there will be a presentation on guidance provided to local election officials, as well as a public comment period.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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