Project Veritas spotlights NH voter

A screen grab shows James O’Keefe of Project Veritas, right, describing the voting record of Robert Bell of Atkinson, left.

The Attorney General’s office has charged a 77-year-old Atkinson man with felony wrongful voting after he cast ballots in two states during the 2018 election.

Two weeks ago, the controversial group Project Veritas distributed a video in which Robert Bell admitted to casting an early ballot in Florida, where he owned a house until recently, and then voting in person in Atkinson.

In an interview with the Union Leader, Bell, who is a registered Republican, said that he had accidentally voted in both states. Voting records confirm that he cast two ballots.

Bell said he cast an early ballot in Florida while he was there for his best friend’s funeral last year, but he was so distracted by the loss of his friend that when he returned to New Hampshire he forgot he had voted.

He did not immediately return a request for comment.

Bell surrendered to Atkinson police Friday afternoon and was released on bail, according to a statement from the Attorney General’s office. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 3 in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Bell is the sixth person in New Hampshire to face voter fraud charges since 2016. One person, a 21-year-old UNH student, pleaded guilty earlier this year.

Project Veritas’ role in this most recent case has also drawn scrutiny. Bell claims that the organization’s operatives recorded him without his consent, which is a crime in New Hampshire, and he has filed a complaint with Atkinson police.

The same day that James O’Keefe, Project Veritas’ founder, showed the video of Bell to the Attorney General’s office, investigators with the agency handed him a subpoena to testify before a grand jury.

O’Keefe previously told the Union Leader that he believes this investigation has to do with covert videos his operatives took of staffers on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2016.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019