STATE ELECTION BOARD: MARCH 23RD, 2016 HEARING

Investigation Reports- Consent Cases

All were dismissed in a motion.

Investigative Reports – New Cases

2012 107 Montgomery County

There were reports of candidate Jim Paul illegally assisting and taking control of absentee ballots. There was nothing to substantiate this, but they did find that three individuals received assistance from their wives. The absentee ballot recap sheet showed five full ballots, and they were unable to show documentation. Also, provisional ballots were not kept separate. A representative for the Attorney General recommends that a letter of instruction be issued on the matter.

Bobby Carpenter: We thought these claims were dismissed, but the letter the county got in 2016 indicated that the same people were charged again with the same thing. These people were all disabled. It came up in 2015 as 2012 007.

Chris Harvey (State Elections Director) investigated this matter and did find that the case was presented to the board last year. It should have been removed from the agenda.

Secretary Kemp: Removed from the agenda.

2014-21 Montgomery County

On June 2nd, Karen Pool filed a complaint with multiple allegations. Ben Clark and John Carpenter were allowed inside the court house during the voting period. An elector was given an improper ballot. Someone witnessed the poll director inadvertently coding the wrong ballots. A citizen presented herself to vote, the poll worker didn’t encode the right ballot style for that elector in that election, and the ballot was cast. The Attorney General’s office recommends binding the case over.

Bobby Parker (poll worker): This was a human error. The couple came in, and when the lady completed her card for her, she didn’t know she didn’t vote the correct card until she went and had a conversation with her husband.

Motion made to send letters of instruction to election officers instead of binding over to the Attorney General. All voted in favor.

2012 133 Coffee County

On Oct 16th , 2012, they received a complaint that a woman was illegally taking possession of ballots and absentee ballots. They were unable to substantiate these allegations, except Peavey did deny the request by lndia to review the poll machines. The city attorney was consulted with that decision. Additional findings were that one voter received two voter cards, causing the numbers to be off on the ballot recap sheets. Thirty-six voter certificates were received, resulting in ninety-two violations–most incorrectly listing documentation. They recommend the respondents be bound over to the Attorney General’s office for the violations listed. Respondents: Coffee County BOE and Registrations department. Mr. Peavey is the Chairman of the board.

Jennifer Herzog (Council for Coffee Board of Elections): We had a record high re: voter turnout and fifteen new poll workers. They board has since increased training.

She doesn’t believe there was any willful violation, and she was satisfied with the board of elections’ efforts to correct. This was a simple human error. Officials didn’t check the proper boxes. She attributes the multitude of irregularities to Coffee County’s part time elections supervisor and also that the training was not up to par at the time. Since, then the board has redoubled their efforts. They have revised training practices and Misty Hayes is the new Elections Supervisor.

Bound over to the Attorney General.

2012 198 Coffee County

Peavey filed a complaint about electors receiving assistance. Investigation revealed Wooten, Hicks Woods, and Pierson provided assistance during the elections to electors who weren’t disabled or illiterate. They recommend the Coffee County Board of Elections, Fosky, Wooten, Hicks, Pearson, and Griffin and Woods be bound over to the Attorney General’s office for the list of violations.

Jennifer Herzog: This issue was self-reported by the chairman of board of elections in Coffee, when the office came to believe poll workers might’ve provided assistance for those who didn’t qualify for it. It is a training issue. Charles Woods sent a letter explaining he assisted his wife and that there was no malice or ill-intent.

Glen Archy (investigator with Secretary of State): One other person assisted his daughter. She was not disabled or illiterate; he assisted because it was her first time voting. He signed that he was assisting her. He didn’t mark why.

Olivia Pearson: According to the letter received from Russell Lewis, she did violate O.C.G.A. 21-2-409 a. She assisted Evelyn Ross and Antoinise Harrison, who didn’t have disabilities. She does recall assisting Ms. Evelyn ross; she is her aunt. She has difficulties seeing and didn’t know how to operate the machine. She doesn’t recollect re: Ms. Harrison. If she assisted anyone, she did not touch the screen, and she only helped if they asked her to help; she didn’t just volunteer her service. She never touched the screen or told anyone who to vote for; she only read the screen out to them as to how they want to proceed. She serves as an elected city council official, but that wasn’t the election in which she assisted. She doesn’t know why Peavey made his complaint. “I wish that I had been given an opportunity for him to ask me a question about why I was assisting. I think that sometimes things are done to try to discourage other people from voting and I don’t feel that is fair.” She knows she didn’t do anything wrong and she took strong offense to these allegations.

James Curtis Hicks: I never once touched the voting machines or advised anyone how to vote; I only assisted them in how to use the machine. Misty told him that he wasn’t allowed to do that, so he stopped. The people he helped could read and write, but many had never used the machines/ hadn’t voted before, and they asked him for help. At that time there was no one in the office but two people. There was no one to assist until Misty walked out. She said that was her/ their job to do, not his.

Misty Hayes (Elections Supervisor): the absentee ballots for advance voting are different from the ballots on Election Day. The voters themselves or the person assisting sign them. On Election Day, the poll worker signs. At the time they were assisting, one mistake was that the poll workers weren’t checking the applications. It’s the responsibility of the voter and or the voter’s assistant to check the ballots, re: absentee and advance voting.

Pearson: Any time she helped them to vote, they had Hayes and Foskys read assistant voter cards to let them know they were helping to vote. She had a red card with permission.

James Hicks: He also recalls that he had the red cards to go back there. She told me that that was her job, and I definitely did not do that anymore after she said that. The poll worker let him back to assist, and he had a card each time too.

Motion to bind over to the Attorney General. Motion carries.

2012 170 Richmond County

Various individuals were reported to use business addresses to vote. A few of these individuals asked to remove themselves from the rolls, and one family said they lived in their dental office (upstairs). They recommend the rest of the respondents be bound over to the Attorney General’s office for the list of violations. There was no double voting, and they didn’t vote in multiple states.

Motion to dismiss cases for individuals that contacted them to update information. Motion carries.

Motion to send a letter  of instruction to the other respondents, given there was no ill- intent. Motion failed.

Motion to bind other cases over to the Attorney General. Motion passed.

2012-200 Gwinnett County

Smith and several others voted with an outstanding felony record. Smith’s mother came to explain that he was in a rehab program that took everyone to vote that day, and he thought he could vote since he still had his voter ID. The probation officer sent a letter too, saying he was now a legal voter.

Motion that Smith’s case be dismissed, and that everyone else be bound over to the Attorney General. Motion passed.

2013 005 Randolph County

Elections office didn’t certify twenty-seven absentee ballots.

Thompson, the supervisor, was new and claimed they were honest errors with no intent to rig the vote or deprive the vote.

Kim Jones (investigator): part of the original complaint was that Fulfer was told she had already voted when she attempted. As it turned out there was no document to support that she already voted; it was just a misunderstanding as far as Thompson was concerned.

Moved to bind over to the Attorney General. Motion passed.

2013-040 City of Leslie

Newcom used the City Hall for personal business–didn’t know it was for city business only.

Bob Smith (Chief of Police): The City of Leslie is 1.5 square miles. Most of you there wear many hats. That was the first time our City Hall was designated as an early voting place. There was no ill intent or any intent to sway voting.

They won’t hold any more early voting in City Hall. Newcom was the City Clerk and Elections Supervisor. She wore many hats.

Motion to issue letter of instruction. Motion passed.

2013-042 City of Keysville

Voter machine malfunction and votes weren’t collected properly. They used lever-style machines. Poll worker said it malfunctioned and was shut down. They recorded four votes instead of fourteen votes for Rucker–she was short-changed by ten votes. Three absentee ballots were accepted without full information. Eighty-eight voter certificates had incomplete information. Recommended referral of Renee Segal to the Attorney General’s office. Failed to compare identification of twenty-one absentee ballots to those on the voter registration card. Failed to report voter information or refer poll worker Roxy Russell. Failed to enter the number of ballots on sixty-five voter certifications. Failed to report voting info of six electors.

Lena Segal: I know those things happen. I did not want to do this election. I didn’t feel adequately trained. I did the election some years back and let the council know that I didn’t want to do it again. Mayor was an important election and they didn’t give me a choice. All of the early voting ballots were submitted in City Hall. I run it. I did everything. it was a one girl office. Trying to do that and run the daily operations of the city. I am here to accept responsibility for what happened. I can’t believe it happened, but I know it did. I know they need training and up-to-date machines. The lever machines are out of date. Leroy Daniels ran the machines. I know nothing about it. It did jam, he went to another, and he forgot to take the machine that broke down. He didn’t take the right number. Overwhelmingly, the mayor won sixty-nine to twenty-eight. I am retired and have not worked for the City since, and they have had changes to the administration.

Secretary Kemp: pulled this off the agenda since she is retired and no longer works for the city or for elections.

2013-043 City of Willacoochie

Investigation revealed some concerns. A candidate’s name was misspelled on the ballot. One candidate was within 150 feet of a precinct location. Election supervisor failed to deliver city information and Atkinson County terminated her. New county commissioner hired her back and she failed to deliver all requested documents to the city clerk upon the conclusion of the election. Marion Fudge was within 150 feet of the polling place to tell others to vote for her.

The city has a long history of very close elections, and there have been lawsuits and subpoenas against them. There have been election recounts, and they have changed the outcomes of the elections. A NAACP coordinator was sent to monitor this place because of the various issues there.

Motion to bind over to the Attorney General. Motion passed.

2013 44 City of Americus

There was an overlap issue in the voting system, making two individuals’ names not show up where they were supposed to. They were given provisional ballots, but one lady refused the ballot. They both were allowed to vote.

They fixed the system error by manually re-entering the data.

Motion to dismiss case. Motion passed.

2013-048 Seminole County

Seventy-two voter certificates weren’t signed or initialed by the poll officer. Also, one individual was allowed to vote because everyone knew him and knew he lived there, but his name wasn’t showing up correctly.

Motion to dismiss case re: allowing the individual to vote. Motion passed.

Motion to bind other charges to the Attorney General. Motion passed.

2013-66 City of Bronwood

There were a large number of complaints by a poll watcher. Only a few were confirmed by investigators, such as improper name tag identification and the use of old ballot boxes–so old that the woman there had to push down ballots with a metal stick.

Motion to bind over to the Attorney General. Motion passed.

2014-002 Twiggs County

A man moved back to his home town and was living with his father who had the same name. He voted as his father on accident. His driver’s license information matched the information in the system. There was no foul play.

Motion issue letter to respondent. Motion passed.

2014- 29 Glynn County

There was a man being very disruptive and yelling in the polling precinct, he was asked to stop, then finally escorted out by police.

Motion to bind over to the Attorney General. Motion passed.

2014-110 Glynn County

Office complaint. Provisional ballots were misplace and not located until after the election. Voters reported to the incorrect precinct and were given provisional ballots, but the proper procedure was not followed.

Motion to bind over to the Attorney General. Motion passed.

2013-54 Telfair County

There were complaints about election irregularities, such as people being turned away because they had P.O. boxes as addresses. Voters were asked about past criminal activity. The office could not substantiate these claims, but they did find that six provisional ballots were not turned in by the Elections Superintendent. She was told by the Chief Registrar that she didn’t have to open them because there wasn’t enough of those to affect the election. Chief registrar denied that this discussion happened.

Motion to bind over to the Attorney General. Motion passed.

Attorney General Report

Board member would like to pull out the McIntosh County 2012 131 case and the Burk County 2011 95 case. Concern was they both impose a $100 penalty. It seems that there were a great many violations. Vote to accept all other recommendations-

2014-35; 2014-59; 2009-61; 2011-71; 2011-23; 2010-111; 2012-7; 2012-121; 2012-122

Bloc vote to accept recommendations in the Attorney General report. Motion passed.

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Summary

 

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