COFFEE COUNTY, Ga. — In December 2020 – halfway between the election of Joe Biden and the runoff election of Raphael Warnock – a polling site in Douglas posted a video made by Coffee County election director Misty Hampton.
"I can go and vote that blank ballot," Hampton tells a group in the room. "Show us," a man is heard answering.
Later in the video, Hampton is heard badmouthing the Dominion voting system.
"Misty, can you scan a ballot more than once?" a man asks. "I’ve just done it!" Hampton is heard answering.
This was when Donald Trump supporters were looking for reasons to overturn the election. Around this time, Coffee County’s election board declined to certify the recount of ballots that ultimately elected Biden.
And a few days after that, surveillance video showed Hampton’s office filled with Donald Trump-friendly folks scanning and copying information in what was supposed to be a secure area. Hampton was forced to resign about a month later.
Not mentioned in this video -- but visible --- is a string of characters taped to Hampton’s computer monitor. Authorities say that was a password to access Coffee County’s secure election system – released on the internet when the video got posted. The video has had more than 117,000 views.
"When the first election director (Hampton) had been terminated, the new election director found out that passwords had been shared with an outside organization," Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told 11Alive News last week.
Raffensperger said the state investigated the YouTube video and the incursion into the secure area on January 7, 2021, within weeks of the two incidents. His office later clarified that the state didn't investigate the security breach until the middle of 2022 because it lacked evidence of such a breach.
The state called in the GBI last month.