Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Friday that his office will replace election equipment in Coffee County after supporters of former President Donald Trump were given unauthorized access to it in violation of the law.
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Surveillance video shows former Coffee County GOP chair Cathy Latham leading a group of data collectors into the election office on the same day investigators reported a massive breach of the office’s elections server and voting machines. The data collectors worked for Trump attorney Sidney Powell.
Powell claimed there was massive voter fraud days after the 2020 election, but multiple federal and state investigations proved otherwise.
The election’s office breach happened a day after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Gabriel Sterling with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office called the breach “criminal behavior.” The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia State Election Board are currently conducting an investigation into the breach.
“To allay the fears being stoked by perennial election deniers and conspiracy theorists, we’re replacing Coffee County’s election machines,” Raffensperger said Friday. “The investigation into the former Coffee County election officials who allowed the unauthorized access continues, and anyone who broke the law should be punished to its full extent.”
Raffensperger went on to say that the move will allow election officials in Coffee County to go forward with the 2022 election.
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“Replacing the equipment puts an end to any argument that the results in Coffee County, and anywhere else in Georgia for that matter, will not accurately reflect the will of Georgia voters,” Raffensperger said. “Voters expect to able to trust their election officials and we rely on Georgia’s local election officials to follow the rules and laws that protect the integrity of Georgia elections.”
Raffensperger said that if the ongoing investigation uncovers violations of the law, Latham and those involved should be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law..
State officials have already replaced Coffee County’s election management server and central scanner workstation. The new equipment is expected to be installed before voting begins.