Recently released surveillance footage from rural Coffee County reveals that several conservative activists who sought to cast doubt on Donald Trump‘s 2020 election loss made visits to the county’s elections office in January 2021, during which time technicians hired by a pro-Trump lawyer copied sensitive election system software.
The film shows how many pro-Trump activists flocked to the county, located about 200 miles southeast of Atlanta, in search of irregularities with which to contest Trump’s close loss in the Peach State.
The attack is one of several orchestrated by Trump backers in swing states, and it raises additional questions about how many persons and groups obtained access to the county’s voting software, a data breach that is under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
According to attorneys, Georgia state authorities are likely looking into whether or not any laws were broken, including those that restrict access to voting machines. There are broader concerns that future elections may be susceptible to hacking after multiple election systems were compromised around the country.
A Trump supporter and bail bondsman from Atlanta named Scott Hall claims he and his team went to Coffee County and “scanned all the equipment, imaged all the hard drives, and scanned every single ballot.” A long-running lawsuit in Georgia over election security claims that the breach exposed software used by voting machines in all 159 of the state’s counties.
An election consultant under investigation for a similar event in Michigan and the conspiracy-minded CEO of a cybersecurity firm linked to a widely condemned political recount in Arizona are also shown in the camera tape, in addition to others already known to have been involved in the breach.
Also shown on camera is Coffee County GOP chair presumably welcoming personnel of the forensics firm hired by pro-Trump lawyer and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell.
The New York Times has studied the films after they were first reported on Tuesday by the Washington Post and other news agencies.
Coffee County, home to the annual Gopher Tortoise Festival, was evidently targeted by Trump supporters in the days before the 2020 presidential election because they believed it would be a good area to gather information on possible voting irregularities.
Members of the local elections board addressed a letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on November 11 stating that they had uncovered “deficiencies” in the state voting system set up by Dominion Voting Systems, a common subject of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories spread by Trump’s followers.
According to bail bondsman Hall, local elections authorities in Coffee County invited him and others to their office in January.