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The state of Georgia has reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help with a criminal investigation into what they call a breach of its election system in one county.
The Georgia State Elections Board said on Wednesday that it wanted the FBI’s help in the investigation into the breach of voting equipment in Coffee County.
“The conduct in Coffee County is similar to conduct in Antrim County, Michigan, and Clark County, Nevada,” William Duffey Jr., the chair of the board, said.
The Georgia elections board also revealed it is investigating communications between local election officials in a second Georgia county and SullivanStrickler — the same cybersecurity firm hired by attorneys working for former President Donald Trump to access voting systems in Coffee County in January 2021.
The board has received documents that include an “unexecuted engagement agreement” for SullivanStrickler to forensically image voting systems in Spalding County, Georgia, Duffey said.
The move represents an escalation by state investigators in Georgia, raising new questions about whether the same group of individuals involved in the Coffee County breach sought access to voting systems in other parts of the state as well.
Duffey said it remains unclear why Spalding County was interested in having Sullivan Strickler conduct this kind of work but that the board is investigating whether there is any link to what happened in Coffee County. It is also unclear if voting systems in Spalding County were breached.
Duffey noted that he has asked for an update from the FBI regarding the status of its participation in the state-level Georgia probe related to Coffee County but does not yet know what the bureau is doing, if anything, at this time.
Voting integrity and security are at the forefront of everyone’s minds after the 2020 presidential election.
In Michigan, a volunteer election worker has been charged with two felony charges after allegedly inserting a personal USB drive into a precinct computer during the August 2 primary.
Reuters reported that Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker announced he charged James Donald Holkeboer with falsifying election records and using a computer to commit a crime in the incident.
If he is convicted, he could face up to nine years in prison.
“The incident highlights the so-called “insider threat” risk that has increasingly worried election officials, especially in battleground states like Michigan where falsehoods about systemic voter fraud in the 2020 election have spread most widely,” Reuters reported.
Earlier this month a former Pennsylvania Democrat congressman was sentenced to 30 months in prison after committing fraud that favored a Democrat candidate.
Michael “Ozzie” Myers pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally vote in a federal election and depriving civil rights, voting records falsification, bribery, obstruction of justice, and orchestrating ballot-stuffing schemes in Pennsylvania’s 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 elections.