BOARD OF REGISTRATIONS AND ELECTIONS, FULTON COUNTY: JANUARY 14TH, 2016 MEETING

In attendance: 

Ms. Mary Carole Cooney (Chairperson, I)

Mr. Stan Matarazzo (Vice Chair, R)

Mr. David J. Burge (Member, R)

Ms. Rukiya S. Thomas (Member, D)

Mr. Luther W. Beck (Member, D)

…..

Shauna Dozier (Registration Chief)

Richard L. Barron (Director, Registration & Elections)

Elizabeth Poythress (President, League of Women Voters of Georgia)

Removal of Names from the Voter List Due to Felony Convictions

305 possible felon removals. One has brought in documentation providing that he is eligible to vote. 304 voters removed.

Operations Report

December began early voting for the election in HD 58. Very low turnout. Thirteen days of early voting and eighteen total voters. Have devoted four staffers to the early voting site. There are three candidates. Hopefully no runoff. Election this upcoming Tuesday for HD 58.

679,842 registered voters in Fulton County.

Budget for elections has been set for $8.12 million for fiscal year 2016. In 2012, the board of commissioners allocated the board of elections a budget of $8.9 million. The board of elections spent only about $6.1 million of that. Fulton County decided against funding the January  2016(HD58) election so we’re paying for that out of funds that weren’t allocated to the department. Fulton County also didn’t find the potential runoff in January 2017 (federal runoff for the November election).

Chairperson Cooney: it looks that we had a large bump in voter registration applications in December 2014.

Chief Dozier: those were the applications from te New Georgia Project. The 40,000.

Member Matarazzo: but they weren’t processed.

Chief Dozier and Member Thomas: no, they were, in December.  But because of the election that year, we couldn’t process the applications in a window around the election in November. We processed them after the election.

SAVE Program

The SAVE program would have been used in addition to verifications on citizenship. The entire state was going to use it. The program was going to tie into Immigration and Naturalization Services. The SAVE program data matching is now on hold.

Chairperson Cooney found out last night that a naturalized citizen had been turned away at the polls. She wants to confirm that the citizen in question will not have any problems on March 1st–because the SAVE program is on hold–is that correct? (Read: are these naturalized citizens going to have problems again in March?)

Chief Dozier: can I have her name, to be sure?

Chairperson Cooney: sure.

Poythress: shakes her head vigorously, indicating that in March, these naturalized citizens WILL still have issues.

School District & Municipal Elections Cost-Sharing

Director Barron: for budget saving reasons, rather than the county assuming all elections costs, we’re going to have school districts and municipalities pay their share, for the elections they’re involved in.

Relocation of precinct 12E (which Atlanta City Council Member Joyce Shepherd had asked them to reconsider in a previous meeting)

Broward: Fulton County went in and looked at the number of registered voters and voter participation over several years at that precinct. More than adequate space and parking space. There was nothing wrong with the move. 3,000 voters. About 1,000 voters at every election, though. No complaints about lines or parking that Council Member Sheperd is aware of.

Chairperson Cooney: we’re hoping that over 60% of our voters vote early or absentee. That would help greatly, too.

Member Matarazzo: performed an analysis of administration and elections divisions personnel and operating costs and did the same for the voter registration division. 2015 budget 46k higher than 2016. Costs are going up as budget is going down. Director Barron is doing a good job of keeping us on budget, despite decreasing allocations.

Approval of location name and address changes

Broward: one is a name change of a College Park precinct location. The other is an address change from one municipal building to another municipal building in the same complex  Mountain Park.

Final Notes

Chairperson Cooney will be out of the country through February. Won’t be able to attend the February meeting. Note: February meeting will be at HHS on February 11th.

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