A former elections supervisor in rural Coffee County, Ga., has told The Washington Post that she opened her offices to a businessman active in the election-denier movement to help investigate results she did not trust in the weeks after President Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat.
Trump had carried the conservative county by 40 points, but elections supervisor Misty Hampton said she remained suspicious of Joe Biden’s win in Georgia. Hampton made a video that went viral soon after the election, claiming to show that Dominion Voting System machines, the ones used in her county, could be manipulated. She said in interviews that she hoped the Georgia businessman who visited later, Scott Hall, and others who accompanied him could help identify vulnerabilities and prove “that this election was not done true and correct.”
Hampton said she could not remember when the visit occurred or what Hall and the others did when they were there. 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. One such case has already led to criminal charges. Tina Peters, an elections official in Mesa County, Colo., was indicted in March on charges stemming from her alleged efforts to secretly copy a Dominion Voting Systems server last year.
Details continue to emerge from other places where outsiders may have sought access to voting machines. In Michigan, state police are investigating an alleged breach of voting equipment after the 2020 election in Roscommon County. A local NBC television affiliate in western Michigan reported last week that police had raided a township office in a different county as part of that investigation.
Meanwhile, some prominent election deniers have sought help from officials with access to protected voting systems, and others — including Peters in Colorado — are running to oversee elections as secretaries of state.
Voting systems are considered by the federal government to be “critical infrastructure,” vital to national security, and access to their software and other components is tightly regulated. 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. And she questioned why access should be so restricted.
“I don’t see why anything that is dealing with elections is not open to the public,” Hampton said. “Why would you want to hide anything?"
Yes, because Republicans certainly would never use election data to defraud the public.
The same people screeching about "internet-connected voting machines" are the same people "opening their offices to random businessmen" and giving them direct voter data so it can be "used to investigate fraud".
You know, committing election fraud so they can investigate election fraud.
They won't stop this year or especially in 2024.