They will no longer be signing in attendees unless the attendee wishes to make a public comment.
-Cindy Liu – need more early voting times
-Jaqueline Bettadapur – re-read her “perfect storm” statement from last month with some additional comments. Turnout/New Voting Systems – not under the control of BOE. Early voting needs to be expanded. 50% of votes are cast by early voters. Only 27% of early votes are cast during 1st 2 weeks; 58% during 3rd week. Locations are prejudicial to North Cobb, West Cobb, geographical discrimination, requested that more locations be open for all three weeks.
Harriett – retired lady, need to make it easier to vote. Since she is retired, she can spend longer time waiting in lines, others can’t.
Monica Delancy (advocate), lives in most southern part of Cobb County, their area has the most children, most underemployed. Again, requests more locations, longer hours. She made a couple of PSA regarding “Take Family to School” Week and “Black History Month”.
Dr. Barbara Crowell – voting should be easy and not confusing, expand locations and hours for early voting.
Holly Simmel – East Cobb resident, rollout of new equipment will have problems, guaranteed. Need lots of paper ballots for backup, in previous election folks were leaving lines (too long). Need to open East Cobb Government location for full three weeks of early voting. She is also
concerned with privacy of vote issues, large screens visible all over. Also, concerned about barcode ballots that cannot be read by people, only machines.
Amanda Robinson – agrees with previous speakers, concerned that only 2 locations open for 1st 2 weeks of early voting, need to promote vote by mail.
Cooper Angel – university student (senior), need to expand locations. Students have a hard time voting because lines are too long to vote between classes, etc.
Brent – works in cybersecurity in Atlanta – electronic voting machines are a horrible idea, especially with a ballot that can’t be read, small changes in voting locations impact ability to vote, rather than change location, open new ones
Judy Perkins – same concerns
There was a lot of applauding following each commenter. Very active meeting. END PUBLIC COMMENT
January Meeting Minutes approved.
Board Member – Neera Bahl not in attendance at this meeting.
NO PUBLIC HEARING BUSINESS THIS MONTH
Janine Eveler requested approval to conduct nonpartisan election for Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission on Nov. 3, 2020. Approved.
Janine presented BOE with schedule for tasks for March 2020 Presidential Primary – it will be put into the public record. First mailing of vote-by-mail ballots has been completed. Schedule includes times for testing of equipment. March 2-6 – candidate qualifying.
At this point in the meeting, an attendee out in the hallway mentioned that they could not hear what was being said in the meeting. This was the first time I noticed that the room was overflowing. The attendees in the hallway were invited to come up front and stand against the wall near the Board’s table. I quickly counted 40+ in attendance. Seriously standing-room-only.
Janine shared another schedule with the Board regarding organizations that have requested demonstrations of the new equipment. [Aside: they will demonstrate the equipment at this Saturday’s Cobb County Democrats monthly meeting (2/15/20)]
Brenda gave an update on the schedule of classes available to board members and staff through March 14. Classes include topics for managers, clerks, poll workers, and class re: the equipment.
Jerry – gave an update on the equipment – most has arrived, still missing a few cases to house the equipment.
Jessica – Have we gotten feedback from State Board of Elections regarding pilot? Janine is working with vendor regarding issues. Vendor is addressing issues then communicating with BOEs, each election will be a learning experience, will take 2-3 years to work it out.
Beau – update on notifications of precinct changes and registration deadlines. Remaining letters regarding precinct changes will go out week of Feb. 17th. This covers all changes made in September and January. Changes are entered into the system, request approval from SOS, generate form letters and review them. Automatic letter folding machine broke, so they are having to manually fold letters, upwards of 12, 000. They received 23,572 applications (?) and hired temp workers to key those in, plan to complete by Feb. 28th. Absentee voting applications total 900 so far. These can be requested up to 190 days before election. If you request one in the first election of the cycle, you get one for every election in that cycle.
Janine – March 2020 locations for primary are already set. She will see if any locations can host a second week in May 2020. She understands concerns that access to satellite locations needs to be expanded. She asked the Board – If any locations can be available should they be scheduled or only if enough locations are available to equally represent the county?
Jessica thinks any satellite locations are better than none.
Janine – She had been able to get a south location and the East Cobb Government building, but the Board (previously) felt it wasn’t needed. Board members requested a full-size map of the
County so that they can picture where the different locations are and where they are most needed (problem areas).
Jessica complimented the training group under the supervision of Mr. Reeves (sp). Fred spoke to the idea that BOE’s goal is to make voting accessible to all. Jessica reminded the attendees that the BOE is funded by the Board of Commissioners. Phil reviewed the next meeting date.
Adjourned at 5:01pm.
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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