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The Push for In-person Voting Questioned During Chatham BOE Meeting April 13

In-Person voting is still the goal, according to The Chatham County Board of Elections.The following includes brief notes taken by a Peanut Gallery volunteer as a public service only. Contact the Chatham County Board of Elections for questions or official information.

Chatham BOE meeting  4-13-20 3:30-4:30pm

Chair Thomas Mahoney

Atwan Lang

Debbie Raurers

Marieanne Helms

Malinda Hodge

Russell Bridges Elections Supervisor

Lynn Trabue Assistant Elections Supervisor

Absentee ballots:

RB:  Absentee ballots are not to be mailed until 4-21-20, because by law we have to mail  ballots 45 days before an election so they are holding ballots until that day.

We are projecting to have 100,000 absentee ballots.

There isn’t a push to do away with in-person voting. It appears as though they want to push the elections back far enough to have safe in-person voting and early voting.

Early voting starts May 18 and ends June 5, at this point there will be voting on Memorial Day weekend.

Poll workers:

RB:  We notified all poll workers that their training had been canceled. Poll workers that were trained for March are deemed trained for June and will not need to do any more training. Those that haven’t been trained will still need to be trained. We were scheduled to train 622 people before the pandemic, now only 12 are scheduled to be trained.

Training techniques could be a conference call or zoom call to train poll workers.


RB: The state will issue some safety guidelines and recommendations.

The county safety dept. will collaborate with us for basic items like gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and plexiglass shields to put in front of workers. We will wipe down all equipment periodically.

The State is willing to underwrite 90% of the personal protective equipment that we get up to $5000.

M. Helms: Can we use the county T.V. station to train poll workers that lack electronic devices? Do we still have 92 polling locations? Assisted living locations are no longer available, Beech High school was not available and another school has a scheduling conflict. Can voters from those precincts have absentee only voting?

People call and ask me “how are the elderly supposed to get stamps”? If it hadn’t been printed yet, why they don’t just make it postage paid. That would have made this a lot simpler operation.

RB: We have to get permission from the county manager to use the county T.V. station for poll worker training.

T.M: Can the voters be left with absentee only and not have a voting location?

RB: At this point we have to make in-person voting available for everyone. If we can’t find replacement locations for the ones that closed we may have to combine it with an existing polling location.

One of the assisted living centers will isolate their center and still have voting.

Georgetown Elem. polling  location is closed for renovations.

 If you would like to volunteer to attend BOE meetings and report the findings to The Peanut Gallery, please contact [email protected]. Our volunteers assist us in holding BOEs accountable and keeping citizens informed.


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