Voting machines must be replaced after “unauthorized access”.

ATLANTA – Georgia’s foreign minister on Friday announced plans to replace voting equipment in one of the following districts “Unauthorized access” to the device that happened 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 January 7, 2021. A company representative said they made complete copies of the election management system servers and other components of the election system. Later that month, two men involved in efforts to discredit the 2020 election results also spent hours at the voting office with access to the machines.

Trump and his supporters made false claims about certain voting machines after he lost his bid for reelection. Authorities said there was no evidence of widespread problems with voting machines.

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

“Anyone who has broken the law should be punished to the fullest extent,” Raffensperger said in a press release. “But current Coffee County election officials need to move forward with the 2022 election, and they should be able to avoid distraction.”

Surveillance camera footage shows “former election officials in Coffee County allowing unauthorized persons access to equipment that should have been secured under Georgian law,” the press release said. The footage was produced in response to subpoenas from plaintiffs in a long-running court case against state election officials alleging that 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 district will receive 100 new touchscreen voting machines, 100 printers, 10 district scanners, 21 tablets for voter check-in, and new flash cards and thumb drives to be installed and tested before early voting begins next month.

Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, a plaintiff in the anti-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 in elections along with the other potentially contaminated devices since they were replaced last year.

Separately, election officials in the state’s most populous borough in and around Atlanta said Friday they fired a worker after learning that “personally identifiable information was disclosed to an individual outside the organization,” news outlets reported.

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

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Voting machines must be replaced after “unauthorized access”.

Sarah Y. Kim

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