Chatham County Board of Elections Meeting 2-10-20
Board Members: Thomas Mahoney III, Chairmen of the Board, Debbie Rauers, Melinda Hodge, Marianne Heimes, Anton T. Lang
Russell Bridge – Board of Elections Supervisor, Lynne Trabue – Polling and 7 members of the community
- Called to order at 3:30pm – January Minutes were approved with minor changes
- Treasurers report was also accepted with minor clarifications.
- Old Business:
- Final approval for 2020/2021 Budget was discussed with many questions about the difference in costs between the new machinery costs, roll-out and training needs vs budget. Supervisor assured Board that there was an additional sum (5m) set aside to draw from for these purposes. Additional questions regarding staff compensation for working overlong and how to budget that; extra storage for new equipment; staffing for training etc. Approval was tabled until agenda Item on New Voting System was discussed.
- New Voting System was discussed re: storage, logistics, back-up equipment, equipment arrival. Many issues around logistics (transporting new systems to polling places), Training of Poll workers and community on new system, Concerns over equitable distribution of equipment as only half of it will be here for the March 24th. There is currently enough new equipment to put minimal level at all polling stations leaving concern over turn-out vs resources. Trainer, Janice Shea, will be here for a couple of months to train and community can request trainings but currently the calendar has 6 sessions set around the county, not counting the weekly evening sessions over the next two months.
- Board retreat: Successful – assignments to be completed include 1. Mission Statement and 2. Bylaw updates and changes. Committee assignments to follow.
- Vote to approve budget passed once discussion was completed.
- New Business had only one item: Presidential Preference Primary – all systems were a go with a higher than usual Democratic turnout expected. Absentee ballots were sent out on 5 February 2020. A quantity of Poll workers seriously needed and staffing of polling places will be supplemented by regular staff to support the process.
- Public Comment: Individual from Pooler expressed deep concern that the two polling places in Pooler are over extended and that a third needed to be created.
- Meeting adjourned 5:12pm
Special Note: There is a video on the Secretary of State’s website called “How to Vote in Georgia” which reviews all steps of processes.