Despite Trump’s fraud claims, it’s (certain) Trump supporters themselves who are responsible for some of the most potentially destabilizing instances of meddling with the elections system in the United States. The office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) is “investigating how a local election supervisor gave a cadre of 2020 election truthers improper access to an election computer system,” as The Daily Beast recaps.
Copies of items with various uses in a county’s election system were apparently made with that covertly provided access. This incident unfolded in Georgia’s Coffee County, and it involved a team co-led by Atlanta bail bondsman Scott Hall with the assistance of that local elections official and the chairperson of the county GOP. Obviously, working as a bail bondsman doesn’t exactly set someone up to be well-prepared for a legitimately enlightening examination of election technology — although Hall was involved anyway. The incompetence seen throughout this ordeal certainly mirrors that seen elsewhere throughout Trump World in the context of pushes against the 2020 presidential election outcome.
The Daily Beast obtained text conversations involving former Coffee County GOP chair Cathy Latham and elections board member Eric Chaney, who worked on bringing in the outsiders to get at the targeted tech. Misty Hampton, who at that point worked as that elections supervisor in Coffee County, was also involved. “Scott Hall is on the phone with Cathy about wanting to come scan our ballots from the general election like we talked about the other day. I am going to call you in a few,” Hampton texted Chaney — apparently on the afternoon of January 6, 2021.
The whole thing went down the next day. Supposed experts involved in the endeavor were apparently led by Paul Maggio, who’s an executive at SullivanStrickler, an Atlanta computer forensics and data storage company. The mission was oriented around the believed possibility of finding evidence of the systematic fraud of the sort that Trump claimed cost him the 2020 election. No such real-world evidence has, of course, ever emerged.
Hall’s efforts included the chartering of a small plane used by the group, which traveled to Coffee County from Atlanta. Hampton, meanwhile, appears to have been somewhat of an intermediary — “Going great so far,” she texted Latham, the GOP chair, in the middle of the afternoon on January 7 last year. Hampton was eventually forced to resign by the supervising board of elections.
Hall, meanwhile, claimed to Marilyn Marks of the voting rights group known as the Coalition for Good Governance that even ballots were copied. “You know the same people that went up to Michigan, OK, and did all that forensic stuff on the computers… they sent their team down to Coffee County, Georgia. And they scanned all the equipment, imaged all the hard drives, and scanned every single ballot. You know, absentee, in person, and absentee by mail,” Hall claimed. He added that the team “went in there and imaged every hard drive of every piece of equipment.” The precise scope of what they actually copied isn’t immediately clear — but the potential ramifications of this meddling with elections is troubling. Read more at this link.