BOARD OF REGISTRATIONS AND ELECTIONS, RICHMOND COUNTY: APRIL 18TH, 2016 MEETING

In attendance:

Tim McFalls (Chairperson, I)

L. C. Myles  (Vice Chair, D)

Sherry T. Barnes (Secretary, R)

David M. “Chip” Barbee (Member, R)

Terence A. Dicks (Member, D)

…..

Lynn Bailey (Director, Board of Elections)

Travis Doss Jr (Assistant Director, Board of Elections)

Elections Equipment Testing, presented by Assistant Director Doss

We started testing voting equipment today. Have tested the first 100 machines.

High School Voter Registration, presented by Director Bailey

The board only collected one new voter registration from T.W. Josey High School. The board was scheduled to come in on Senior Day, when all seniors were off-campus.

Other area high schools with no voter registration applications submitted = the board hasn’t been there yet.

A sorority conducted voter registration at A. R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet High School and Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School [preempting the board].

Aquinas High School also conducted their own drive. Westminster chose not to participate. “They don’t do that.” They may offer voter registration applications on their own. They just didn’t want the board coming over.

Richmond County State Election Board Cases, presented by Director Bailey

In the most recent State Election Board (“SEB”) meeting, the SEB addressed the cases of a few Richmond County electors who were voting in the district but using their business addresses to do so.

The SEB bound over 6 of 10 cases to the Attorney General.

Takeaway for the board = we did our due diligence. No malice on the part of the voters. Nobody was registered twice or really trying to do anything illegal.

Suggestion by Chairman McFalls that the Board Assess Potential Voter Suppression in Recently-Consolidated Counties

The consolidations happened in 2012. In 2014, we pulled numbers to see if any voter suppression resulted. Chairman McFalls recommends that the board again reassess whether incidental voter suppression has occurred in these communities. Suggests that the board collect statistics and make sure the areas where the consolidations happened are still turning out at numbers consistent with what they were before. He doesn’t feel there’s a problem. But just to double check.

Director Bailey is going to update the statistics before their next board meeting, on May 9th.

Director Bailey Updates the Board on her work with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission

Director Bailey serves on the Election Assistance Commission (“EAC”) standards board. Part of the work the board is doing is writing the standards for voting equipment usability, etc. The other part is work on election administration in general. Quick Start guides for training poll workers, managing lines, etc. The EAC is required to compile information from the surveys they send out after every big election year.

This most recent meeting [which Director Bailey attended] was coordinated by the Department of Defense, the Federal Voting Assistance Program, the EAC, and the state coordination program. Was convened specifically to discuss overseas military voting and making that more efficient. Did a lot of work on rewriting that section of the voting code. The EAC standards board is attacking Section B (overseas military voting) & applying those learnings to revamp the other sections.

Also wanted to mention that: it’s a presidential election year. There are a lot of great groups that are doing great work with voter registration. The Voter Participation Project is a nonprofit group out of D.C. focused on registration, and they’re doing work here. They create databases, mine those databases versus lists of registered voters, prefill voter registration applications to a point, and then send those prefilled applications to the voters, encouraging them to finish and submit them. The Voter Participation Project is doing a great job. They don’t seem to be political in nature. They’re actively promoting voter registration. But some of the databases their information comes from is inaccurate. They’re maybe sending voter registration applications, prefilled, to individuals who are already registered or deceased. The office hasn’t had huge issues with it so far. Takeaway: the office has gotten 200-250 applications in the last week or so. 75% of those applications are for people who are already registered to vote.

[Director Bailey explains the potential problem]: For example, the Voter Participation Project database searches for a voter registration under the name”Lynn Bailey.” In fact, her full name is Marilynn Bailey. So, the database don’t see that *Marilynn* Bailey is already registered…and sends her a prefilled form.

Chairman McFalls: asks Director Bailey how her work on the [Augusta] ethics board is impacting her time to do her board of elections work.

Director Bailey: reports that she is spending 15-20% of her time on ethics stuff. It might be time to rethink infrastructure of the office, to account for that. This is the first year Augusta has gotten the ethics board back. Still too early to tell if it’s going to have a lasting, impinging effect on her schedule.

Member Myles: Augusta has 10 commissioners and 10 school board officials. That’s a lot of local politics to oversee.

Chairman McFalls: recommends that, if we get to the point to where we want to increase some positions, that should be something we consider.

Director Bailey: If it starts taking more than 20-25% of my time and/or interfering with my ability to [complete her board of elections work], I’ll let the board know.

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