BOARD OF REGISTRATIONS AND ELECTIONS, HALL COUNTY: JANUARY 5TH, 2016 MEETING

In attendance:
Kimberly Copeland (Member, D)
Gabriel Shippy (Member, D)
Ken Cochran (Member, R)
Thomas Sandoval (Member, R)

…..

Charlotte Sosebee (Chief Registrar & Director of Elections)

Poll Location Changes Roundup (from last meeting)

  • Barcamp: not changed
  • Gainesville 1: moved from the civic center to First Baptist
  • Gainesville 2: incorporated into Gainesville @ from Tadville(?)
  • Friendship 1: moved from the sheriff’s headquarters to Prince of Peace church

New Business

  • presidential preference primary (“PPP”) L&A (logistics & analysis program) begins tomorrow, January 6th.
    • Advance voting begins on February 8th and ends February 26th.
    • Poll worker training begins February 4th

Question from the Audience

Hall County Democratic Party Chairwoman Sheila Nichols asks: will there be Spanish ballots for the PPP?

  • Chairperson Sosebee: no, that hasn’t been mandated by the state

Nichols: it’s a federal law [that Spanish ballots be provided]

Chairperson Sosebee: if it is a federal law, Georgia does not meet the threshold requirement

Nichols: if you don’t have ballots in Spanish, will you have someone at each location who can help people who only speak Spanish?

Chairperson Sosebee: the county cannot employ someone who will assist with the preparation of a ballot. The county can only assist a voter until they’re ready to vote.

Nichols: what about if they come in and say ‘I don’t speak English’

Member Sandoval: they can bring someone with them, who can assist them

*For more information on this issue and the threshold requirements:* http://news.wabe.org/post/puerto-ricans-may-be-key-bilingual-ballots-georgia

Citizen in the audience: Hector Gallego (sp?) registered to vote three months ago but hasn’t heard anything.

Chairperson Sosebee: you can call the office to check on his application.

Member Shippy: I helped him look up the status of his application on the Secretary of State’s website and he wasn’t yet registered.

Member Cochran: how did he register?

Citizen: mail-in.

Chairperson Sosebee: *please* come to the office and we’ll get it figured out.

Member Shippy: wants to emphasize that, though the board isn’t legally required to provide Spanish ballots this, he thinks they’re missing out on an opportunity to demonstrate some leadership on this issue, throughout the state. To encourage more people to come to the ballot box. He thinks it would be a good opportunity to show the rest of the state how we do things here in Hall County: we do things right; we do things efficiently.

Chairperson Sosebee: I can’t just say Hall County is going to have a Spanish ballot. The state creates the ballots. The state has to make that decision. The county attorney has looked into this very deeply and has been in communication with the different organizations (on this issue). It’s not something that Hall County is equipped to do. We don’t have a staff that can do this. The ballots have to be signed off by the Secretary of State’s office. Also, when there is an amendment on the ballot, no poll worker can explain the question in English.

Next meeting: February 23rd at 3pm. The board will also approve the poll mangers in that meeting.

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