ATLANTA — Georgia’s secretary of state announced plans Friday to replace election equipment in one county following “unauthorized access” to the equipment, 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 km) southeast of Atlanta, on January 7, 2021. Server and other election system components. Later this month, two individuals who have been involved in efforts to discredit the 2020 election results spent hours inside the election office with access to equipment.


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

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


“Anyone who breaks the law should be punished to the fullest extent,” Raffensperger said in a news release. “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.”

Footage from security cameras showed “former election officials in Coffee County allowing unauthorized persons access to equipment that should have been protected under Georgia law,” the release said. The footage was produced in response to subpoenas issued by plaintiffs in a long-running lawsuit against state election officials that claim the state’s touchscreen voting machines are not secure.


The county’s election management 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 used to check in voters and new flash cards and thumb drives installed before early voting begins next month. And tests will be done.

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. He said this was because they had been used in elections with potentially contaminated equipment since their changeover last year.


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

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

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