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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

Oct 22, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

More than 100 Polk County absentee ballot requests rejected

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At least 130 Polk County voters submitted absentee ballot requests via mail after Monday's 5pm deadline, according to a county auditor's report provided to Axios by Polk County Democrats.

Why it matters: The Nov. 2 elections mark the first time voters head to the polls since Gov. Kim Reynolds signed new voting rules into law.

  • Shorter timeframes and far more restrictive rules could make it harder for communities of color, individuals with disabilities and elderly voters to cast ballots, groups like LULAC Iowa argue.

What to know before heading to the polls in Austin

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Early voting for the Nov. 2 election is here, and Austin voters will weigh in on two local propositions, in addition to eight Texas constitutional amendments.

State of play: So far, turnout has been low. Just 2.25% of Travis County voters headed to polls or voted by mail during the first three days of early voting, according to the Travis County clerk's office.

Yes, but: That's not unusual for an election in which no major political offices are on the ballot.

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.