Voting equipment to be replaced after ‘unauthorized access’

Voting equipment to be replaced after ‘unauthorized access’

The Georgia secretary of state announced plans on Friday to replace election equipment in one county following “unauthorized access” to the equipment that occurred two months after the 2020 election.

A computer forensics team hired by allies of then-President Donald Trump traveled to Coffee County, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta, on Jan. 7, 2021. A company representative said they made complete copies of the election management system. server and other components of the electoral system. Later that month, two men who have been involved in efforts to discredit the 2020 election results also spent hours inside the election office with access to equipment.

Trump and his supporters pushed false claims about certain voting machines after he lost his re-election bid. Officials have said there was no evidence of widespread problems with voting equipment.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said an investigation into unauthorized access to equipment by former Coffee County election officials is continuing.

“Anyone who breaks the law must be punished to the fullest extent,” Raffensperger said in a press release. “But the current elections officials in Coffee County have to get on with the 2022 election, and they should be able to do it without this. distraction.”

Security camera footage shows “former elections officials in Coffee County allowing unauthorized persons access to equipment that should have been secured under Georgia law,” the release said. The video was produced in response to subpoenas issued by plaintiffs in a long-running lawsuit against state election officials who claim the state’s touchscreen voting machines are unsafe.

The county’s election administration server and central scanner workstation were previously replaced in June 2021, officials said. The county will receive 100 new touchscreen voting machines, 100 printers, 10 precinct scanners, 21 tablets to register voters, and new flash cards and USB sticks to install and test before early voting begins next month.

Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, a plaintiff in the voting machine lawsuit, said the election management server and central scanner workstation should also be replaced. She said that’s because they’ve been used with other potentially tainted equipment in elections since their replacement last year.

Separately, election officials in the state’s most populous county, in and around Atlanta, said Friday they had fired a worker after learning “personally identifiable information was shared with a person outside of the organization,” the media reported.

“The person responsible for the incident no longer works with Fulton County,” the county said in a news release. “Fulton County is committed to the safety of all citizens and employees. Every individual affected by this incident will be notified and will receive credit monitoring services.”

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