BOARD OF REGISTRATIONS AND ELECTIONS, FULTON COUNTY: OCTOBER 8, 2015 MEETING

In Attendance:

Mary Carole Cooney (Chairperson)

Stan Matarazzo (Vice Chair, R)

David J. Burge (Board Member, R)

Rukiya S. Thomas (Board Member, D)

Luther W. Beck (Board Member, D)

Richard Barron (Director of Registration & Elections)

Shirley Arnold (Board Secretary) 

Ralph Jones (Registration Manager)

Shauna Dozier (Registration Chief)

Hakeem Oyshikoya (Finance Director)

Kenneth Hermon (Personnel Director)

Felony Convictions

Ralph Jones recommended the board remove two hundred fifty-six (256) people from the voter rolls due to felony convictions. Member Matarazzo noted that the number was similar to last month’s number, two hundred fifty-eight (258), and asked if it was a coincidence. Jones replied that it was about the average number of removals.

Marissa Dodson, the Policy Director and Attorney at the Georgia Justice Project, asked where they pull the lists of names from. Chairperson Cooney replied that the Secretary of State recommended the individuals based on reports from superior court judges, the Department of Corrections, etc. Chairperson Cooney added that sometimes the Secretary of State does not send a list over–in those cases, people are not removed.

Item 10

Finance Director Hakeem Oyshikoya and Personnel Director Kenneth Hermon were both in attendance to discuss issues with keeping early voting poll workers and temporary office workers on record as employees. The fear was that the individuals kept on record would become ghost workers–being paid, but not actually working. The solution proposed was to pay a temporary agency to handle all issues of employment (background checks, etc.) rather than employing people directly. Member Matarazzo was concerned about IRS crackdown on contract vs. employee and Affordable Care Act issues. The issue will be solved by 12/15.

Member Burge brought up the fact that Election Day workers must take an oath and Member Beck asked about the training process for Election Day workers. Both were told that election day workers were not included in the discussion.

Early Voting

Early voting begins Monday for municipal elections. Next Monday (10/12), early voting will only be available at the Government Center. The following Monday, early voting will be available at the Johns Creek, East Point, Fairburn, and Roswell locations.

It was noted that internet in the warehouse (where the votes are counted on Election Day) is terrible.

Voter Registration

There are currently 675,876 registered voters in Fulton County. Barron noted that the number was high. Member Matarazzo asked if it was because “those groups” brought in huge batches. Barron said that it was individual and that Shuna, the Registration Chief, would have her work cut out for her next year.

Citizenship Verification

There is not enough information gathered about citizenship verification yet, but the board will be sending out letters within the next month or so.

Renae Walker SEB Case

Walker went to vote during the primary in May 2014 and was allegedly turned away. She had registered to vote at the Department of Driver Services. The case went to the investigator, and the investigation was completed in September 2014. Fulton County saw the report for the first time in September 2015. The poll worker had no memory of turning her away and the polling location had about two hundred provisional ballots. The board believes that the issue may have been a miscommunication or fruit of the technological issues earlier that year, in which the Department of Driver Services records did not make it to the Fulton County registrars. The main question is why the reports sat for a year.

Barron noted that the board was going to attempt to have the case dismissed.

Precinct Changes

Woodson Carter

  • moved to Grove Park Recreational Center (traffic issues)

Benjamin E. Mays

  • moved to 10c Adamsville Rec / Sc14 Aviation (not enough parking)

Perkerson (12 a/b)

  • moved to library (1332 Metropolitan Parkway)

Palmetto

  • moved to Palmetto Library

Sco1b

  • Moved to Wolf Creek Library

Member Matarazzo suggesting putting polling locations at shopping centers as is done in the Philippines. However, the board noted that the practice is against state law for early voting. 

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