Replacing voting equipment after “unauthorized access”

ATLANTA (AFP) – Georgia’s foreign minister announced plans on Friday to replace election equipment in one county after “unauthorized access” to equipment occurred two months after the 2020 election.

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

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

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

“Anyone who breaks the law must be punished to the fullest extent,” Ravensberger said in a press release. “But the current Coffey County election officials should move forward with the 2022 election, and they should be able to do so without this distraction.”

The statement said footage captured by security cameras shows “former Kofi County election officials allowing unauthorized individuals access to equipment that should have been secured under Georgia law.” The footage was produced in response to subpoenas issued by plaintiffs in a long-running lawsuit against state election officials claiming that the state’s touchscreen voting machines are not safe.

Officials said the county’s central election management server and scanner workstation were previously replaced in June 2021. The county will receive 100 new touch-screen voting machines, 100 printers, 10 scanners, 21 tablets used for voter registration and new flash cards and drives Thumb discs 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 voting machine lawsuit, said the election management server and central scanner workstation should also be replaced. She said this was because it had been used with other potentially contaminated equipment in the election since it was replaced last year.

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

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

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