Election machines in Georgia replaced after ‘unauthorized access’

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced last week that election equipment in one county will be replaced due to individuals having gained “unauthorized access” to it.  

According to Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), Raffensperger’s announcement concerns equipment in Coffee County, which is located some 200 miles southeast of Atlanta.

Computer forensics team

The outlet reported that on January 7 of last year, Coffee County was visited by members of a computer forensics team which had been hired by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

A company representative acknowledged that the team had obtained copies of the election management system server along with other election system components.

GPB published an image from a security video which appears to show then Coffee County Republican Party chair Cathy Latham introducing members of the forensics team to county election officials.

The forensics team were not the only ones to show up in Coffee County, as GPB also noted that two men who have expressed skepticism about the 2020 election were given access to voting equipment for a period of hours.

For his part, Raffensperger put out a statement in which he downplayed the need to replace election equipment as being a “distraction.

“Anyone who broke the law should be punished to its full extent,” GPB quoted the Georgia secretary of state as saying.

“But the current election officials in Coffee County have to move forward with the 2022 election, and they should be able to do so without this distraction,” he added.

Election worker fired

GPB stated that the county will acquire “100 new touchscreen voting machines, 100 printers, 10 precinct scanners, 21 tablets used to check in voters and new flash cards and thumb drives to be installed and tested before early voting begins next month.”

Coffee County was not the only jurisdiction in Georgia to make headlines last week, as on Friday 11 Alive reported that a Fulton County election worker was fired after “human error” resulted in “personally identifiable information” being shared.

“Preliminary results indicate that this was an isolated incident that appears to be the result of human error. The individual responsible for the incident no longer works with Fulton County,” a statement released by the county read.