BOARD OF REGISTRATIONS AND ELECTIONS, FULTON COUNTY: AUGUST 14TH, 2015 MEETING

New Registrar Induction Ceremony

Certificates were passed out to the newly-confirmed registrars.

State Elections Board Appearance: Consent Order Wrap-Up

Yesterday (August 13th, 2015), Fulton Board of Registrations and Elections Chairperson Mary C. Cooney and Director Richard Barron appeared in front of the State Elections Board to finalize the Fulton County Board of Elections’ consent order, referenced in earlier blog posts. According to Chairperson Cooney, the above-mentioned swearing-in ceremony is also symbolic of a clean slate and the continuing professionalism of the Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections going forward.

Felony Convictions/Approval of Minutes

The board next removed newly convicted felons from the voting rolls.

The board then moved to discuss the approval of minutes–specifically those of the July 17th meeting–but temporarily postponed the approval given Board Member Burge’s concern that the minutes may not accurately reflect the sentiment of the board in a particular conversation.

Monthly Operations Report

The next item was the approval of the monthly operations report. The elections for districts 55, 48, and 80 were held in July and on August 11th, a special runoff election was held for House District 80. Having successfully administered those previous elections, the board is now looking forward to and preparing for the November 3rd municipal election.

Director Barron noted that in July 2015, registration applications have substantially increased, compared to the number of applications received in 2011 and 2013 and reflecting the increasing number of people moving into Fulton County.

Board Member Stan Matarazzo asked Registration Manager Ralph Jones why a line item in the report showed that six (6) people were removed from the voting rolls. Jones clarified that the individuals were removed at their own request and that such requests were most often made by those who did not want to deal with jury duty or automated calls.

There will be no results certifications again until November.

Citizenship Verification

Citizenship verification has been rescheduled from August 10th to the 24th. The necessary staff has already been trained but the board is waiting for approval from the State.

Member Matarazzo asked the board/a city attorney in attendance if the board ever sent out a letter requesting that the Secretary of State confirm in writing that he wanted the individuals who were incorrectly listed as non-citizens to be re-verified.

An individual who appeared to be a city attorney confirmed that a letter had been sent to Mr. Willard but that the board has yet to receive a response.

List Cleanup

Due to the recent special elections, there have not been any 30 day windows clear to run a list cleanup.

Registration Chief Shauna Dozier responded to Member Burge’s request for an update on list cleanup, saying that list maintenance is on the schedule for a time in the near future. She continued that [as of August 14th] the board is free and clear to move forward with the process up until 30 days before the November election.

Financial Oversight

The board announced that they were half a percentage point of being right on budget for the year. Member Matarazzo asked Director Barron if there was any reason to believe that the board might not be fully funded for the year. Director Barron responded that there was no reason to believe so.

New Business

The board needed to certify the results of the special runoff for House District 80. Director Barron confirmed that the results were true and correct and all votes in the election were accounted for. The results were certified as per Director Barron’s recommendation

Regarding the board’s appearance before the State Election Board yesterday, Chairperson Cooney was pleased to announce that during her presentation, Secretary of State Brian Kemp acknowledged both Director Barron and Chairperson Cooney and commended them on the good work of the board and the Fulton elections department. The [Consent Order] approval passed unanimously and Chairperson Cooney related that “[the board is] free until further malfeasance.”

Boundary Line Changes

House Bill 66, which allows select House Districts–primarily districts 59, 53, and 60–to redistrict themselves, passed this past legislative session.

Per HB 66, the board discussed the new boundary adjustments and district splits. Although the districts already voted to make the changes, the Board of Elections voted as a formality to confirm the changes.

To read an update to the Fulton County consent orders (blog post: “State Election Board: June 10, 2015 Disposition of the Fulton County Consent Orders”) click here. [1]

[1] Ollstein, Alice. “Georgia County Admits To Illegally Disenfranchising Voters.” ThinkProgress RSS. ThinkProgress, 26 Aug. 2015. Web. 05 Sept. 2015.

http://thinkprogress.org/election/2015/08/26/3695039/county-admits-it-disenfranchised-voters-in-african-american-dominated-county/

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