Republican National Committee co-chair Thomas Hicks stopped in Bedford this weekend to support the GOP candidate in a special election, saying he hopes Republicans will show up to the polls despite the mistrust some activists have in the electoral system.

Although there has been no evidence of widespread or systemic fraud, some Republican activists in New Hampshire and around the country have been animated by doubts about the 2020 election, including during the lead-up to the recent audit of Windham’s votes.

After meeting with Republican voters Saturday, Hicks said he hoped the party faithful can be persuaded to trust elections again.

“That’s a critical part of making sure our base turns out,” Hicks said.

Hicks said he believes bills around the country that roll back COVID-19 accommodations and introduce measures like requiring photo ID to cast a ballot will improve trust.

New Hampshire’s COVID-19 voting measures, like no-excuse absentee voting, were temporary and already have ended. New Hampshire does not require photo identification to cast a ballot.

Restoring confidence in elections will be part of the Republican National Committee’s work this year, Hicks said.

“We go around the country. We educate our voters, our volunteers,” Hicks said, in person and through social media. “We’re making sure people know there’s a special election soon, and their vote’s going to count.”

Hicks said the Republican National Committee would be heavily involved in the midterm elections next year. He said the Republican party will aim to strip President Joe Biden and Sen. Maggie Hassan of their bipartisan reputations.

“She’s been in lockstep with Chuck Schumer,” Hicks said of Hassan, referring to the Senate Majority Leader.

Asked about Hassan’s work with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to end the practice of surprise medical bills for out-of-network care at in-network providers, Hicks said, “She’s also been in lockstep with Chuck Schumer. I haven’t seen any progress.”

The provision to prohibit surprise medical bills, authored by Hassan and Cassidy, was part of a funding package signed by former President Donald Trump.

It also included the $600 stimulus checks and a second round of COVID-19 aid.

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