Georgia Secretary of State to replace voting equipment following ‘unauthorized access’

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said his office is replacing election equipment in Coffee County in response to a breach after the 2020 election.

The "unauthorized access," which happened two months after the 2020 election, shows "former election officials in Coffee County permitting access by unauthorized individuals to equipment that under Georgia law should have been secured."

"To allay the fears being stoked by perennial election deniers and conspiracy theorists, we’re replacing Coffee County’s election machines," Raffensperger in a press release. "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. 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 and the misinformation surrounding it. 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."

The Secretary of State's office it will provide Coffee County with 100 ballot marking devices, 100 printers, 10 Imagecast tabulators, 21 poll pads and new flash cards and thumb drives.

"Voters expect to be 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. "If the ongoing investigation by the State Election Board and the GBI uncovers violations of the law, those individuals should be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.