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Georgia county under scrutiny after claim of post-election breach

The Washington Post
Dominion Voting System
The Post
the Department of Homeland Security
Dominion Voting Systems
the Coalition for Good Governance
Cyber Ninjas
the State Elections Board
U.S. House

Donald Trump
Misty Hampton
Joe Biden’s
Scott Hall
Matt Masterson
Tina Peters
Brad Raffensperger
Marilyn Marks
Ernestine Thomas-Clark
Eric Chaney
Misty Martin
Wesley Vickers
Patrick Byrne
Sullivan Strickler
Conan Hayes
Byrne —
James Barnes
Doug Logan
Chris Harvey
Pamela Jones
Chris Carr
Alice Crites


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Coffee County
Mesa County
Roscommon County
Antrim County
Maricopa County
West Virginia
North Carolina

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She said they did not enter a room that housed the county’s touch-screen voting machines, but she said she did not know whether they entered the room housing the election management system server, the central computer used to tally election results.“I’m not a babysitter,” she told The Post.Hall, who owns a bail bond business, did not respond to requests for comment.Voting experts said that, whether they accessed sensitive areas or not, Hampton’s actions underscore a growing risk to election security.In the year and a half since the 2020 election, there has been steady drumbeat of revelations about alleged security breaches in local elections offices — and a growing concern among experts that officials who are sympathetic to claims of vote-rigging might be persuaded to undermine election security in the name of protecting it.“Insider threat, while always part of the threat matrix, is now a reality in elections,” said Matt Masterson, who previously served as a senior U.S. cybersecurity official tracking 2020 election integrity for the Department of Homeland Security.Suspected or attempted breaches have spurred law enforcement investigations in Colorado, Michigan and Ohio. In several instances since 2020, machines have been taken out of service after their chain of custody was interrupted.Hampton told The Post she was unaware of guidance the Georgia secretary of state’s office had sent to county election administrators saying that voting equipment and software must not be released to the public absent a court order. Hampton told them that rogue election officials could have flipped votes in other jurisdictions and that ballots could have been scanned and counted multiple times, according to the minutes.Questions about Hampton’s interactions with Hall surfaced only in recent months, in a long-running federal lawsuit filed by the Coalition for Good Governance and others against the Georgia secretary of state’s office. At 4:26 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, she texted Chaney that Hall was discussing the possibility of scanning “our ballots from the general election like we talked about the other day,” according to the text messages.The next day, Chaney asked her to switch to Signal, the encrypted messaging app, according to the messages.In an email county lawyers forwarded to The Post, Chaney wrote that he does not know Hall and was not present when anyone “illegally accessed the server or the room in which it is contained.” Responding later to inquiries about the text messages, he wrote, “I have no personal recollection of what you’re asking.”Coffee County Administrator Wesley Vickers declined to comment.Patrick Byrne, the former Overstock chief executive who has played a central role in the election-denier movement and has written about his own team’s efforts to find irregularities in Georgia and elsewhere, described Hall as a “node in the network” of people investigating the election during that time.Byrne said Hall told him that he and others had made a trip to Coffee County to try to get access to election equipment. The Florida-based firm by then had been selected to conduct a Republican-commissioned ballot review in Maricopa County, Ariz.“I think it might be prudent to see if there has been any contact between the person on the card and anyone in your office and/or if they have had access to any of your equipment,” Chris Harvey, who was then the state director of elections, replied to Barnes several days later in an email obtained through a public records request.Emails show that Harvey contacted the chief of the secretary of state’s investigations division, who directed one of her investigators, Pamela Jones, to ask Coffee County officials whether Cyber Ninjas had accessed county voting equipment.Harvey, who left the secretary of state’s office three weeks later, said in an interview that he did not recall details of the events in question.

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