Fact check – New Hampshire officials say the reporting error for US Senator Maggie Hassan’s votes was due to a typo

A typo — not voter fraud — led to incorrect vote counts being reported in Coos County, New Hampshire, for US Senator Maggie Hassan, who was re-elected to represent the state. Posts on social media said Hassan received 1,100 votes in a town with a population below that figure, but the foreign secretary told Reuters the typo had been corrected and Hassan was the winner of the race with 332,193 votes and 106 – not 1,106 – votes stays in that particular city.

Democrat Maggie Hassan defeated Republican Donald Bolduc in the New Hampshire Senate race (here). The New Hampshire State Department lists election results by county and reports that Hassan received a total of 332,193 votes against Bolduc’s 275,928 votes (select Excel next to “United States Senator”) (here).

One Instagram user shared an image with the caption, “Another Democrat miracle! Maggie Hassan wins 1,100 votes from a town of less than 700 people” and said: “These days we vote dead people and more votes are cast than people! But there is no such thing as voter fraud! Too many downplayed theft in 2020 and now here we are!” (here).

The social media posts show a screenshot of an article by the Gateway Pandit, viewable (here).

The city referred to in the article is Columbia in Coos County, population 659 according to the 2020 U.S. Census (here).

According to the county breakdown of election results, Hassan received 6,059 votes in Coos County with 106 votes from Colombia, while Bolduc received 6,491 votes with 193 votes from the city (same Excel spreadsheet as above, tab labeled “coos gov”) (here ).

The Office of the Secretary of State originally reported Hassan’s vote count for Colombia as 1,106 instead of 106 votes. Marcia Parkhurst, the Columbia city clerk who signed the return of votes form certifying the election result, confirmed that Hassan received 106 votes in Columbia and told Reuters that the error in “transmitting the results from a form to another” occurred and explained the 1,000 vote discrepancy.

“It was just a mistake that happened after a long day. As soon as I was notified, I contacted the Secretary of State’s office and they asked me to send them an email explaining what happened,” Parkhurst said. “The form submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State (and other news outlets) clearly stated that a total of 309 votes were cast in Colombia.”

An image of the Columbia Return of Votes can be found (imgur.com/a/rransBu) confirmed to Reuters as authentic by the New Hampshire Secretary of State, with an apparently misinterpreted additional “1” in the box for Hassan’s vote count.

The secretary of state confirmed Hassan’s vote count for Coos County in a statement to Reuters, saying the misreported number of 1,106 votes for Columbia “is based on information submitted on the official Return of Votes form.”

The Secretary of State acknowledged that the “reported number far exceeded the number of ballots actually cast in the city,” the Secretary of State said that “the number originally entered was a simple typo” and clarified that the “typo” turned up “a stray pen mark”. ”

Representatives of the Gateway Pandit did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.


Misleading. While the New Hampshire Secretary of State originally reported that Maggie Hassan received 1,106 votes in Columbia, Coos County, state and city officials told Reuters that it was due to a typo and the number has since been corrected.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work on social media post verification here.