During Public Comment, I made a statement, as a Cobb County citizen, regarding polling place access. Content of statement was drafted by ACLU.
A second speaker, Elisa Goldklang (Twitter address @heartfulmom), had monitored the November elections, and did so for the run-off elections as well. She spoke at last month’s meeting. Her comments were all over the place and very difficult to follow. She said that the scanners worked perfectly during the runoff election, unlike the November election. She was still concerned about privacy issues when using the new electronic voting equipment because the screens are huge and visible. Then she went off on Kemp and the fact that voter data has been inadvertently released twice and no steps have been taken to fix it. She then returned to the new voting equipment to talk about her concern over the pollbooks. She talked about how they used Bluetooth technology and that the data could be easily stolen via “bluetoothing”. She was concerned about the annual cost to Cobb County for the new system. She talked about the company, Dominion, that is the vendor for the new equipment and how the equipment is programmed in Serbia, easily penetrated. She wants the process to be aboveboard and transparent. She doesn’t trust that it is or will be. She thinks there will be security issues and barcode issues.
After approval of last month’s minutes, the meeting proceeded to “Regular Business” Janine Eveler was attending a conference, she but listened in on speaker phone.
Beau Gunn gave the report on the runoff election. A copy is attached to the Agenda. Some notes I made regarding the handout:
1. Section “Absentee uploaded and released results at…” Mr. Gunn explained that the time interval was longer than it would normally be because they were formalizing the new process in writing and taking time to record the steps for future elections.
2. Provisional Ballots: Issued 9, counted 6. It was determined that 3 of the provisional ballots could not be cast because the voters were not actually registered in Smyrna.
3. Under Absentee and Advance Voting: In person – 1 abandoned. An individual voter inserted their ballot into the scanner and walked away without waiting to see if the ballot was accepted. It was rejected, so could not be counted.
Mr. Gunn also discussed changes made for the upcoming March election. The new proposed schedule includes more locations, longer hours, and more Saturdays for advance voting in next election. He discussed upcoming extensive training with the new equipment. The voting schedule should be posted on the BOE website by end-of-year. He also discussed the planning of storage of the new equipment and physically transitioning the old equipment out.
As a personal aside, November’s agenda included Cobb County BOE’s Meeting Schedule for 2020. They changed the election certification meetings to 12:00pm, rather than 4:00pm. I do not know the reason for this, but it will make it more difficult for me to attend because it is right in the middle of the workday. I may try to work out something with my bosses to possibly work from home on that morning, go to meetings, then go to the office for the afternoon. If you have anyone who works in Cobb County that could possibly attend those lunchtime meetings, it might be worth exploring. This would involve 4 meetings: March 30, May 26, July 27, November 9. Some of those might be runoff elections that may not actually occur.
Did you know that the public can attend Board of Registration and Elections meetings?
These meetings are open to the public by Georgia law. Georgia Open Meetings Act.
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