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Voting equipment will be replaced after “unauthorized access”.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s secretary of state announced Friday plans to replace election equipment in one county after the equipment was “unauthorized access” two months after the 2020 election.

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

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

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

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

Security camera footage shows “former Coffey County election officials allowing unauthorized persons access to equipment that should have been secured under Georgia law,” the release said. The footage was produced in response to a long-running lawsuit filed by plaintiffs against state election officials who 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 touch voting machines, 100 printers, 10 precinct scanners, 21 tablets used to verify voters and new flash cards and thumb drives that will be installed and tested before early voting next month.

Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Government, the plaintiff in the voting machine lawsuit, said the election management server and central scanner workstation also need to be replaced. He said this was because they had been used with other potentially contaminated equipment after being replaced in elections last year.

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

“The person responsible for the incident is no longer employed by Fulton County,” the county said in a news release. “Fulton County is committed to the safety and security of all citizens and employees.