Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections Meeting 2-18-20

Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections Meeting 2-18-20

Georgia Peanut Gallery Notes are jotted down during Board of Elections (BOE) meetings by volunteers. Meetings can move fast. We are trying to provide information about what’s happening at Board of Elections around the state. Refer to the county website or contact individual county BOE for questions.

In Attendance – Board Members John Mangano – Chairman, Ben Satterfield – Vice Chairman, Beauty Baldwin, Stephen Day, Alice O’Lenick
Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash
Kristi Royston Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor

Gwinnett BOE 2-18-20 Agenda GWINNETT COUNTY BOARD OF VOTER REGISTRATIONS AND ELECTIONS February 18, 2020 Regularly Scheduled Meeting AGENDA

Gwinnett BOE 2-18-20 County Minutes GWINNETT COUNTY BOARD OF VOTER REGISTRATIONS AND ELECTIONS February 18, 2020 Regularly Scheduled Meeting UNOFFICIAL MINUTES

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash – Talked about the county not expanding a week of early voting as requested by the Board of Elections.
Base budget for elections includes twice the funding including in elections expenditures budget in 2016
$1.4 million in a contingency fund

Alice O’Lenick – Alice read a statement about the county making decisions without the Board of Registrations and Elections
On Jan 18, 2020 we were informed that changes were made to our elections process. I would like to go on record that we implement the 2020 plan. Ga Election code says the Board has authority… – quoted 2 codes – The county did not discuss their changes with the Board of Elections. In my opinion the county acted without due respect. We may as well throw out the rule of law if they don’t stand by…

Stephen Day – that expresses my feelings to the T. The debate about whether or not or what the early voting should be…. the board was not involved at all and I think it was an administrative failure.

…Why wasn’t the election board notified of changes that were made a public draft on Nov. 19. Our new Director of Elections should know about it and inform us.

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash – until the budget is adopted you have $0 dollars. It’s a request until it goes through review process it’s not a budget. I’m having trouble understanding the problem.

Stephen Day – I asked someone in the office about the budget and thought we were home free and it was a done deal. Since I wasn’t informed of anything in the meeting it was smooth sailing. As of Nov. 19, we were told there was a draft out there. I would have thought someone in the election division would have notified us.

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash I have no idea where the breakdown in communication was. The tax millage rate funds this budget. There were $30 million in additional funding requests made across the county and we could only fund half of them. The elections budget was not treated any different than any other budget. I don’t have time to sit down with each department.

Stephen Day – I’m dumbfounded. I assumed all of the department heads would talk.

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash – I can’t say exactly how the department heads communicated. Most things are communicated electronically. There are dollars in a contingency fund. A contingency fund is for when we know funds will be required and we don’t know exactly what it will be. From a realistic standpoint we have to look at if it makes good sense to read for another week of voting. We did that in an open meeting and took a vote of the board. We hope things will go smoothly with the Presidential primary. We are all sitting on pins and needles to see how it will turn out.

Stephen Day – What’s your feeling about how it will go?

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash – let’s look at this. This is a different year than we’ve ever had. We’re all foolish to think we can predict exactly how things will go. I’ve been getting day by day reports on how it’s going with the equipment and am also concerned about how this will go. I think ya’ll will make the right decisions and let’s hope it will go better than we think. The Board of Commissioners thought cutting one week of early voting would make us better prepared to deal with the election season. Are we doing it in the right way, are we prepared, are the poll workers properly trained to go through the voting process. This is about trying to pull together and do the best we ca for the voting process. We have to have enough poll workers. We will have runoffs. We need to make sure we have enough poll workers and don’t wear them out. Let’s see how we get through the Presidential process. I apologize for any appearance of lack of respect.

Chairman John Mangano – I was reviewing your decisions – Is that the first time you’ve done that?

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash – I don’t know, but it seemed prudent for us to take action. Thank you. I have no doubt that this election board does everything it can to ensure good elections.

Minutes to be approved – last month’s minutes.
Stephen Day – I don’t think the minutes reflect the discussion about this issue we just discussed last month.
All approved the minutes except for Mr. Day who is opposing the minutes.

Minutes from Feb. 10 – approved as written

New Business
Additional polling locations.

Stephen Day – notifying that when you have a shift of polling location signage must be put up at old location notifying people of the changes. Some old location owners may not allow that. We should have 3-4 times the people turning out in the general election. I motion that we put the signs up through any runoffs into 2021.

Alice O’Lenick – I agree that the signs should be put up and the old polling location owners may not want the sign. My issue is, who is going to put up the signs and watch the signs throughout the season. Example 12 Stone Church.

Stephen Day – the staff running the new polling locations can drop off before they set up the new place.

Alice O’Lenick – did we have signs in the past?

Kristi Royston Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor – We used to put up signs through March and Mr. Day’s suggestion is we put the signs up past March.

Stephen Day – I think we should put up signs for the full election cycle. We should follow the first election protocol throughout the entire election season. I thought it would be nice to keep reminding the general public because there’s a lower turnout in the first election in March.

Alice O’Lenick – my apprehension is the staff having to carry this out. Is the election staff responsible.

Kristi Royston Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor – We would do it. The election staff would do it.

Chairman John Mangano – I’m in favor of the first two elections having signs.

Alice O’Lenick – March, May, July, November and possible one after.

Motion made and seconded. For all five elections motion was made and approved to put up signs through the whole season

Chairman John Mangano a public comment was made – Can we add a column on the voter registration form

Kristi Royston Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor – Education outreach initiatives have tremendously increased over the last few weeks. Our calendar is filling from invitations to groups to attend. Since our last meting we attended 12 events – demonstrations have been done. We have 11 events scheduled for March now and will have more.

Receiving applications for absentee ballots is con…
Registered voters 557,711 increase of 7023 since January of this year.
We are seeing an increase in paper and online voter registrations.
Our elections team – in your packet you should have a spreadsheet (Note – the board members only). – This is an initial allotment of machines. We were given a new distribution list where every county’s allotment was increased. We have not received it into our inventory, it’s in our prep area. The numbers will change once the machines are put into inventory. We had three deliveries on Friday, and the numbers have gone up in the last week. The battery backups for the units UPC receiving count the lowest in what we’ve received thus far.

Beauty Baldwin – some of these machines we are getting more than we have allotted – it looks like

Kristi Royston Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor – I don’t know that for sure because everything is not into inventory test. Everything we have received has not been opened and scanned into inventory yet –

Stephen Day – I’ve been asked about the printers – how long they will last and how durable.

Kristi Royston Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor – I haven’t gotten any info about the durability of printers but we have gotten info about how long the toner cartridges will last. I’ve listed that 390 people have listed for the AIP training. Classes will end Friday the 21st.
Online launched 2-14-20. 319 have registered

Alice O’Lenick – do we have the proper number of poll workers?

Kristi Royston Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor we’ve set a min. and a max for each polling location. The majority have the minimum number of people. We’ve been looking good for managers and supervisors. The goal is to get every location to minimum and then work on the maximum. AIP’s is 14 issuing. We run each location with two teams a Mon Wed Fri, team and a Tues. Thurs. Sat. team. They work in pairs so 14 people total.
You will have 5 issuing stations and floaters.
– General info – we have demo equip. here this evening if anyone wants to try it.
– Calendar – I went in and put all of the dates for the provisional meeting on the Monday following. The Mon. we would meet in May is Memorial Day so I dropped to Tues. She gave the calendar of meetings to the Board.
– We talked about in Dec. that you tasked me with guidelines and instructions for observers in the office. I have this for you to take with you and look at. This is my first presentation for the guidelines and instructions for observers in the elections office.

Chairman John Mangano – any questions or concerns to be addressed in last meeting.

Public Comments John Mangano – address all comments to board – time varies – 5 minutes today

Holly C., poll worker. Sat I was in a cold building – room changed for meeting, wifi quit working – issuing class – last week equipment was missing. There were 2 voter card for 8 machines. I took poll manager classes – the classes location was in Peachtree Corners – remote from Lawrenceville. I know it’s been asked for and asked for, but this may be my last election because it’s been such an uproar. You really need a classroom.

S. Toggerson with Forward Gwinnett – registration forms must they be postmarked by the deadline? Answer: yes
is there a limit on the number of registration forms we can receive when we come to the office – answer 200 – it’s been bumped up from 100. I turned in over 100 today and was told I only get 50. I’m registering new young voters. I have to keep coming back for forms.

Chairman John Mangano – they ask you call in advance so they can be ready. Also you can print out yourself at home.

S. Toggerson with Forward Gwinnett – was it voted that the Board of Elections must submit questions one week in advance in writing?

Chairman John Mangano – no one was asked to submit in writing. We did get together for a work session to come up with questions.

Kristi Royston Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor – I asked as a courtesy could they give me a week to answer questions.

S. Toggerson with Forward Gwinnett – I brag on how Gwinnett county handles processing voting

Commenter – I commend the new machines they are easy to use.

Mary D – Democratic Voter Protection – The discussion of the November election the budget, is it set?

Stephen Day – Nash left it hanging about whether it was a done deal. The Board agreed.

Mary D – Democratic Voter Protection on the signage – was the signage approved for all elections and runoff? –
Answer: Yes. I feel that you make decisions for the benefit of the voters.

Gwinnett NAACP President Penny Poole
The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, The People’s Agenda, – the State NAACP the Gwinnett NAACP – we all have questions that have not been answered.
First – I thank Alex for your statement. We need more clarification. We don’t know if those funds are available. Also questions about number of machines and when they will arrive. Everyone agrees that the machines are not here. We want to know when they will come. Have they been updated are they all in?

Kristi Royston Gwinnett County Elections Supervisor – as I stated we got three shipments on Friday and are almost all in.

Gwinnett NAACP President Penny Poole – We don’t understand why you will not use the paper ballots. We want to know why the backup system is not in place. The ballots making devices as of Feb. 12 not all received. We want to know that number specifically. We want to know why the process was usurped by the County. We want to make sure the people of Gwinnett get to vote without disarray. We know that the delay that the Board of Elections had nothing to do with. The machines are delayed by the company. We want to make sure each precinct has one machine per 250 voters. We have a detailed letter and want a response per the open records request. Penny passed out manilla envelopes to the board.

Last business of meeting:

Announcement was made that Beauty Baldwin is retiring after 23 years as Democratic representative
Article about Beauty Baldwin’s retiring post in Gwinnett Post after the meeting: https://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/local/beauty-baldwin-retiring-from-gwinnett-elections-board-after-years/article_5ec7c550-52b7-11ea-bbaa-87e24362fa03.html

AJC Article – Gwinnett won’t expand early voting as requested by elections board
https://www.ajc.com/news/local/gwinnett-won-expand-early-voting-requested-elections-board/hoTkZvc1H60lgupBfTPjMI/

 

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