Ken Hajjar

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Ken Hajjar is the former director of sales and marketing at LHS Associates, the New England election contractor responsible for programming the region's voting machines. He was a childhood friend of John Silvestro, LHS's president. Before working for LHS, he was convicted and sentenced for selling cocaine. During his time at LHS, Hajjar was also involved with local New Hampshire politics in his home town of Londonderry. As an election integrity movement began in the 21st century, Hajjar came under scrutiny for his contempt towards election integrity and his criminal record.


Family and early life

Ken Hajjar was born on October 13, 1949 in Lawrence MA. He grew up with John Silvestro, his future boss at LHS Associates. Hajjar attended Central Catholic High School in Lawrence and got a BA in economics at Suffolk University in Boston. Both Hajjar and Silvestro later moved to Londonderry NH.[1][2][3]

Technology company work


Cocaine trafficking

In 1987, Hajjar was arrested in Londonderry for selling cocaine. He was indicted and pled guilty, receiving a 12-month sentence in the Rockingham County jail and a fine of $2000. Thanks to his political connections (according to Bev Harris), Hajjar's sentencing was deferred for 1 year, during which he was placed on probation, and $1000 of his fine was suspended.[3][5] The timeline would imply Hajjar was on probation from 1987 to 1988 and served his jail time from 1988 to 1989.

Joining LHS Associates

In November 1994, Hajjar was hired as director of sales and marketing at LHS Associates.[4] This was nearly a decade after 1985 when LHS first got into the elections business, which Hajjar in a forum post said was "long before [he] worked there"[6]. His hiring was probably due in part to his longstanding friendship with John Silvestro, president of LHS. One the earliest public mentions of Hajjar's position at LHS came in a 1997 article.[7]

NH local politics

Around the same time he joined LHS, Hajjar got involved with Londonderry politics. He first entered town politics in the late 1980s[6], most likely late 1989. Throughout his political career, Hajjar served on numerous committees: the Budget Committee, Capital Planning Committee, Zoning Board, and others. His friend and boss at LHS, John Silvestro, was also active in Londonderry politics, serving on the Budget Committee with Hajjar.

Among many other town politicians, Hajjar gained an unfavorable reputation as an authoritarian bully. He was accused of forcefully trying to squash opposing beliefs and adopting an air of moral superiority. Some town politicians, in fact, saw him as corruptly representing the interests of the real-estate industry. Hajjar, on the other hand, viewed himself as battling constant negativity from the people of Londonderry.[8] And he openly disparaged their idea that a local cabal of "good ole boys" or realtors was controlling town politics.[6]

One political issue Hajjar got involved in was the decision to site an AES power plant in Londonderry. Hajjar fervently supported the plant, speaking in favor of it at town meetings (including one in August 1998[9]). The town held a non-binding referendum over the power plant siting in 1999, which Hajjar disturbingly threatened to rig. On February 3, Hajjar called into a radio show and angrily attacked two women guests who were activists against the AES plant. When the radio host said the voters would decide on the power plant, Hajjar responded "We'll just stuff the ballots". The women were horrified, especially upon learning that he worked for LHS, the state's election contractor. They told John Silvestro, who dismissed their concerns before getting angry and walking away. On election day (March 9), Hajjar visited the polls repeatedly, announcing his intention to vote multiple times. Ultimately, the AES measure was defeated, but the town council passed it anyway.[10]

A Londonderry resident's report of Hajjar's threat

In 2007, Hajjar vehemently opposed the formation of a Londonderry ethics committee, arguing it ran the risk of becoming an ideological "witch hunt".[8][6]

Election contracting

Part of Hajjar's LHS marketing job was downplaying, if not denigrating, any possibility that elections could be rigged. He also defended questionable company practices that could have opened the door to exactly that.

In 2006, Dori Smith of Talk Nation Radio interviewed Ken Hajjar about voting machine security in New England. He demonstrated a deep resentment of election integrity concerns, remarking that her questions illustrated "how dangerous the Internet has become" and calling voting machine security reports "superfluous". He also defended LHS's practice of swapping out memory cards in the middle of an election, a dangerous practice that provides an opportunity to introduce malicious code. When Smith pointed out that the practice was illegal in Connecticut, Hajjar replied "I don't pay attention to every little law". Furthermore, he claimed that the pre-election test would alleviate any chain-of-custody concerns with LHS replacing memory cards (despite pre-election testing being trivial to game).[11]

In 2007, Hajjar attacked several election integrity activists. He derided Brad Friedman, a blogger on election integrity issues, and his readers as "looney idealogues [sic]" who were "full of shit" for covering issues with voting machine scurity. He also called the AccuVote OS vulnerability found by Bev Harris and Harri Hursti a "scam", asserting that New England elections were impossible to rig, and labeled Nancy Tobi (a New Hampshire election integrity activist) as "clueless".[12]

LHS Associates became the target of serious scrutiny in 2008 after the suspect 2008 New Hampshire primary. Hajjar's criminal record of cocaine trafficking was dug up by Bev Harris's investigative team.

Until at least 2008, Hajjar lived in Londonderry. By 2012, he had moved to Salem NH[13], which LHS Associates relocated to from Methuen MA in 2011.

Life after LHS

Hajjar worked at LHS Associates until at least 2015. Sometime after the summer of 2015[14], he apparently retired, moving to Raymond NH.[1][15]


Conflicts of interest

Hajjar's position as a local politician in Londonderry was a conflict of interest with his job at LHS. He had an incentive to manipulate town politics, particularly due to LHS being paid from the local budget and his own potential corruption. As a result, there were numerous elections in which he had a vested interest: his own elections, other local races, town referenda, and more. Hajjar's job left the possibility that he would use his influence to tamper with them. In fact, there was a 1999 Londonderry ballot measure over the siting of an AES power plant which Hajjar supported so strongly that he threatened to rig the election to make it pass.

Disdain for election integrity

Hajjar has been extremely contemptuous towards election integrity and its activists. He's asserted that New England elections are impossible to rig, dismissing security reports and attacking several activists as paranoid, crazy, and delusional. Meanwhile, he's defended and partook in an LHS practice of swapping out memory cards mid-election that leaves the door open to fraud, and he literally did threaten to rig an election in 1999.

Criminal record

Hajjar's criminal record of cocaine sales also raises concerns about the integrity of past LHS-programmed elections. His drug trafficking might have linked him to other organized crime figures with an interest in election fraud, or opened him up to blackmail. This is even more troubling when considering Bev Harris's assertion that Hajjar's sentence was reduced due to his political connections, indicating that he owed somebody favors.

Political connections

Hajjar's criminal record and local political decisions might imply influence by organized crime and corporate interests (real-estate and fossil fuel companies). His town politics record would need to be looked at more.

At the state and national level, Hajjar's politics are somewhat muddled. He claims to have been a lifelong progressive since the days of McGovern in 1972.[16] His Facebook posts in support of the Democratic Party back this up[1], as do his campaign donations to Democrats (Obama[13], NH Democratic congressional candidates[17][15], and ActBlue earmarks[14]). However, his party registration is unaffiliated, and in 2000-2008, he voted only in Republican presidential primaries.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Facebook page
  2. 2.0 2.1 Voter registration info
  3. 3.0 3.1 Criminal record
  4. 4.0 4.1 LinkedIn page
  5. Drug trafficking sentence - offense on 1987/09/14
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Hajjar debating political ethics 2
  7. Hajjar was director of sales and marketing as far back as 1997
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hajjar debating political ethics 1
  9. Hajjar on the Londonderry power plant
  10. Hajjar threatening to rig an election
  11. Disdain for election integrity
  12. Attack on Brad Friedman as "full of shit" (original comment)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Donations to Obama for America (2008 and 2012)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Donations through ActBlue (2015)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Donations to Maggie for NH (2016)
  16. Claim of being a longtime progressive
  17. Donations to Carol Shea-Porter for Congress (2008)

External links