Lawyers seek data in Georgia election equipment violation

Lawyers seek data in Georgia election equipment violation

ATLANTA (AP) – A former Republican Party official in Georgia who was a fake voter in 2020 misrepresented his role in an alleged violation of voting equipment at a rural elections office two months after the last presidential election, according to a court filing .

The late Monday filing is part of a broader lawsuit challenging the security of the state’s voting machines that was drawn into a separate investigation into efforts to overturn former President Donald Trump’s loss in Georgia.

According to the latest filing, Cathy Latham helped coordinate the arrival of the computer forensics team at the Coffee County elections office on January 7, 2021, she greeted them when they arrived and spent almost the entire day there telling them what to copy. That was “virtually every component of the voting system,” the court filing says. That directly contradicts her testimony in sworn depositions and her representations in court filings, the document says.

The filing comes in response to an attempt by Latham’s attorneys to quash subpoenas for her personal electronic devices, including any cell phones, computers and storage devices.

Robert Cheeley, a lawyer for Latham, did not respond to an email seeking comment. He previously said his client does not remember all the details of that day. But he said that she would not and had knowingly been involved in any impropriety in any election” and that “she had not acted improperly or illegally.”

Latham said in a deposition last month that she moved to Texas over the summer. In January 2021, she served as chair of the Coffee County Republican Party and was the state party caucus chair for more than 125 of Georgia’s smaller counties. Latham was one of 16 Georgia Republicans who signed a certificate in December 2020 falsely stating that Trump had won the state and declaring that they were “duly elected and qualified” electors of the state.

In fact, Trump lost Georgia by almost 12,000 votes to Democrat Joe Biden. The investigation into Trump’s attempts to change the results includes a phone call he made to the Georgia secretary of state suggesting he could only get enough votes to make Trump the winner.

The Georgia secretary of state’s office described the copying of data from the Coffee County election system as “alleged unauthorized access.” It is the latest of several suspected breaches of voting system data across the country that have been linked to Trump allies since his election loss.

Attorney General Sidney Powell and other Trump allies were involved in an arrangement to copy the election equipment in Coffee County – home to 43,000 people and they voted overwhelmingly for Trump – as part of a wider effort to gain access to equipment voting in several states, according to documents produced in response to subpoenas in the long-running lawsuit over Georgia’s voting machines.

Latham’s data is likely to reveal “additional details about the work done and information obtained in the breach, what was done with the software and data at risk, and the people involved in planning and organizing the breach, which which would put voters and future elections at enormous risk,” the filing says.

In an exhibit attached to Monday’s filing, excerpts from Latham’s deposition are placed next to images culled from security camera footage that appear to contradict her statements.

Latham said she went to her job as a high school teacher and stopped by the elections office briefly that evening. But the video image shows her arriving at 11:37 am and timestamps on other images show her there for much of the day. She also said that she did not see specific people and that she saw others only briefly, but the video images show otherwise.

The lawsuit involving the fight over Latham’s personal electronic devices was originally filed several years before the 2020 election by individual voters and the Coalition for Good Governance, an election security advocacy group. He alleges Georgia’s touchscreen voting machines are insecure and seeks to replace them with hand-marked paper ballots.

Monday’s filing said the plaintiffs identified multiple specific documents that Latham had failed to produce in response to a previous subpoena. He seeks to have a third party make a temporary forensic copy of his devices and search for relevant documents.

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