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Photo: Aaron Jackendoff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid announced Wednesday she decertified Fulton County voting equipment for future elections after officials allowed a private company to examine the machines during an audit of the 2020 election, violating the state's election code.

Why it matters: Degraffenreid said the company was able to "access certain key components of its certified system." Pennsylvania is the second state after Arizona to have decertified an election system because of dubious audit requests by pro-Trump Republicans.

  • The push for an audit came from state lawmakers who supported former President Trump's baseless claims about the presidential election result.

What they're saying: Degraffenreid's office said in a statement that Fulton County officials had "allowed Wake TSI, a company with no knowledge or expertise in election technology, 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."

Of note: The Post obtained a county document showing that 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."

This post has been updated with further details from Degraffenreid's letter.

Go deeper

Manhattan, Westchester prosecutors request evidence from Cuomo investigation

Gov. Cuomo during a press conference in New York City on Aug. 2. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The district attorneys for Manhattan and Westchester County on Wednesday requested evidence related to New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Why it matters: The district attorneys are investigating if alleged conduct highlighted in an independent report published by James' office that occurred in their jurisdictions was criminal in nature.

Scoop: Buzzy media startup Puck launches in beta

Puck.news

Puck, a splashy new digital media company, is coming out of stealth mode, Axios has learned. The company debuted its landing page, puck.news, on Wednesday, and will officially launch its website in September.

Why it matters: The company has been quietly building a roster of top talent, but hadn't confirmed its branding or exact business plans up until now.

NOAA's updated hurricane outlook calls for even more storms in 2021

Hurricane Dorian seen on Sept. 2, 2019. Photo: NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday updated its 2021 Atlantic hurricane seasonal forecast, slightly increasing expectations for the number of named storms and powerful hurricanes.

Why it matters: With the U.S. already reeling from extreme heat and wildfires, disaster response agencies are overstretched. A particularly destructive and active hurricane season could overwhelm some of its response capacity.