Pennsylvania is the second state where officials have decertified election equipment because of questionable audits requested by Republicans. Arizona’s Maricopa County said in June that it will replace voting equipment that was turned over to a private contractor for a Republican-commissioned review of the 2020 election.
Trump backers in multiple states are trying to launch post-election audits in an effort to overturn President Biden’s election victory.
According to a statement from Degraffenreid’s office, Fulton County officials allowed Wake TSI, of West Chester, Pa., “to access certain key components of its certified system, including the county’s election database, results files, and Windows systems logs. The county officials also allowed the company to use a system imaging tool to take complete hard drive images of these computers and other digital equipment.”
The statement called Wake TSI “a company with no knowledge or expertise in election technology.”
“These actions were taken in a manner that was not transparent or bipartisan,” Degraffenreid wrote in a letter to county officials. “As a result of the access granted to Wake TSI, Fulton County’s certified system has been compromised and neither Fulton County; the vendor, Dominion Voting Systems; nor the Department of State can verify that the impacted components of Fulton County’s leased voting system are safe to use in future elections.”
Neither Wake TSI executives nor Fulton County officials immediately responded to requests for comment.
A group of GOP state senators had asked three counties, including Fulton — a rural county on the Maryland border that overwhelmingly backed Trump in 2020 — to participate in their voluntary audit. Fulton is the only county known to have agreed.
According to a county document obtained by The Washington Post, Wake TSI was “contracted” to a nonprofit group run by Sidney Powell, a pro-Trump lawyer. Wake TSI submitted a draft report in February saying the election had been “well run” and “conducted in a diligent and effective manner,” county documents show.
However, before the final version was posted to the county website, it was revised. The new version included this statement: “This does not indicate that there were no issues with the election, just that they were not the fault of the County Election Commission or County Election Director,” it read, before flagging potential problems with the county voting machines and other aspects of the election.
Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.