Fulton County Board of Elections Meeting 03/12/20

Board Members Present:

Mary Carole Cooney

Mark Wingate

Dr. Kathleen Ruth

Aaron V. Johnson

Absent: Vernetta Keith Nuriddin

Agenda was approved

Public Response

Privacy Issues

Votes are verifiable 

Encrypted code – vote can tabulate differently than what is on ballot

Can be hacked

Voters continue to be disenfranchised 

Violation of secrecy

GA Tech polling location – voting machines face wall

Voters walk behind voter at machine and can easily see how voter is voting

Ballots fed into scanner can be seen by other voters

Board was urged to visit locations

GA law and the Fulton Board of Elections assures secrecy will be provided

Without secrecy, ballot could be voided

Minutes from the February 13 regular and executive meetings were approved.

February Operations Report – Director Richard Barron 

93% poll workers were trained

4 people dropped due to virus

Mock Elections were held February 18.

13 locations

1 in warehouse by the SOS

Renovation is complete including the power upgrade

Registration

35,310 applications in February

45,000 purges since December; about 300 responded to the notice

20,000 new voters; don’t know how many of those people were purged

Outreach (voter education)

123 events in February

25-30 events in January

80+ events are scheduled for March

Mock election

692 people participated in mock elections

New Business

Early Voting

Going smoothly

24,254 voted as of 3/11/20 – 39%

3/560 absentee ballots

Expect the numbers to increase next week

BMD cleaned several times a day

Purell at each location

Assessment of possible virus issues and the department’s response

Equipment is being cleaned

Posters about hygiene by CDC are at locations

Dr. Ruth spoke about senior center voting locations and assisted living homes

Unable to change sites but now that the virus is declared a pandemic, sites may be able to be changed. There are suggested poll sites.

SOS wouldn’t oppose moving locations

Discussion on notifying voters of location change. Assistive living centers:

Abernathy Towers – 2537 voters

Brighten Gardens – 2189 voters

Cathedral Towers – 2894 voters

Asbury Harris – 2009 voters

Hellenic Center – 2660 voters

Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker, Fulton County attorney

Concerned about negative press from changes

Can install partitions to keep voters apart

Cancel senior center activities

Fear of challenges – adverse litigation

Encouraged the board to make adjustments

Are seniors being encouraged to use absentee ballots?

15 minute break to contact assisted living centers to gather information on the voting facility.

Recommendations:

Contact five assisted living facilities

Outreach is going to each facility

Encourage absentee ballots

Mail absentee ballots to everyone in facilities

Continue communication with facility managers

Absentee ballots

Extra partitions

Work with health department 

Richard Barron is attending the County Manager’s meeting with department heads. He will network with the heads about voting at assisted living communities.

The board is in the information gathering stage. No vote was taken therefore they will continue with the voting locations.

If an emergency arises, Richard Barron can make a decision and email the board.

Equipment

Challenges because they are using different colored seal on doors. The state didn’t order enough green seals therefore they are using red seals. They are the same thing but it isn’t uniform. They were promised 3,054 but received 3,003. Hopefully, will receive more for the May election.

Special Meeting

Wednesday, March 18 at 10am in the 4th floor conference room

One voting location has a name change.

Assisted living and senior center voting locations will be discussed.


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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