Clarke County BOE Struggles to Decipher Meeting Notes

The Clarke County Board of Elections members discussed the possibility of utilizing a translation app during the April monthly meeting. Members struggled to understand  meeting minutes due to incomplete note taking. Adoption of minutes was a confusing task for the BOE. The following includes brief notes taken by a Peanut Gallery volunteer as a public service only. Contact the  Clarke County Board of Elections with questions or  for official information.

Clarke County Meeting Notes

4/21/20- called to order 3:11 p.m.

Via https://youtu.be/HmasVFmHVYw

Members:

Jessie Evans

Charles Knapper

Patricia Till

Willa Fambrough

Rocky Raffle

Approval of Previous minutes

The Board notes that the minutes are unclear because motions listed in the minutes don’t say who made the motion or which way the Board Members voted.

Jan 21, 2020

Feb 4. 2020

Feb 18, 2020

Feb 25, 2020

March 9, 2020

April 1, 2020

The secretary notes that the County staff currently does the minutes and not the secretary.

The Board then discusses the merits of using an app that does verbatim translation.

There is some discussion about the budget and if the board can do this.

Some clarification that the department has a budget and not the Board itself.

It also may not be permissible to auto translate minutes. The Board will have to check.

When asked the merits of this a Board member says that not only will this make meetings more transparent to the public, it will also make them more accessible for the deaf.

The Board votes that the following  changes be standard in meeting minutes going forward.

  1. All motions in the minutes must state who made them
  2. Who seconded the motion
  3. Whether the motion was passed or denied

A note is made by a Board Member that it has taken too long to approve the minutes that should have been looked at before the meeting.

One member notes that they didn’t know the minutes were sent to them due to how many emails were sent in such a short time frame.

The Jan 21, 2020, minutes are adopted with the changes listed above.

Feb. 4, 2020  Minutes

There is a missing request to provide plans for voting location ballot secrecy to the Director’s update section of the minutes. It will have to be added

Some Board Members don’t remember this being discussed

What is the procedure for a citizen deciding that the minutes are incorrect or inaccurate?

The Board is advised to not be concerned with this.

Feb 4, 2020, minutes adopted

Feb 18, 2020 Minutes

The Board has to call someone as they are unsure if they were absent for this meeting

Minutes are adopted

Feb 25, 2020 minutes adopted with no changes

March 9, 2020 minutes 

Item number 220-005 needs to be added under new business

Needs to clarify there is a new lead attorney and that legal representation is kept by the Board.

March 9, 2020 Minutes are adopted

April 1, 2020 Minutes

A resolution is made but the meeting minutes does not detail what the resolution is.

The minutes are adopted with the aforementioned changes

Director’s update

79,356 registered voters

687 ballots returned from the presidential preference primary

72 vital records verified in march

67 Felony removals

Ballots start to be mailed out today and there are 168 ballot styles in the county

Preparations for logic and accuracy test preparation for equipment began on April 16th

There are more tests on April 29th at 10:00 a.m. and the public may sign up on the websites to view in 30 minute sessions.

The last day to register to vote May 11th.

Maps and registration cards to voters by the end of week with new polling locations.

May 18th week 1-3 Advance voting in Board of Election meeting

New Locations: Some polling sites are still pending circuit identification and the Board is awaiting confirmation that they can use them. They are hesitant because they wish to ensure their first responder’s safety.

Athens-Clarke County Cooperative Extension Office -275 Cleveland Rd, Bogart, GA 30622

Miriam Moore Community Service Center- 410 McKinley Drive, Suite 101. Athens, GA 30601

Athens Regional Library- 2025 Baxter St, Athens, GA 30606

Tennis Center 4460 Lexington Rd Athens, GA 30605

Another  elementary school

Barnett Shoals Elementary School  (not yet approved) 3220 S Barnett Shoals Rd, Athens, GA 30605

A Board Member asks if the polling locations can close at 5:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m.

A motion is made and passed to have polling locations stay open till 5:30 p.m. rather than close at 5 p.m.

Equipment from the 2018 election is still in quarantine in the county warehouse EMS room

Director suggest that Board use a question form on their website for public comments

The Board approves this

No public comments

Old Business

Only  six of  24 polling locations have the required number of  voting booths

There are some issues with space because of the new guidelines for privacy

There is a suggestion to put the machines at a 35 degree angle

There is also the suggestion of using paper ballots to solve space issues.

The Board notes that having the machines against the wall rather than at an angle creates a spacing issue. Board votes to list concerns with locations now rather than call a special meeting.

There is also not enough space to have equipment facing the wall

Director notes that the layouts are subject to change.

A motion is made and passed to have the polling locations open on Sunday May 31st in the Board of Election Office from 12-3 p.m.

The Board ask to request funding to cover the postage from ballot applications

The motion is passed

DropBoxes

Information will be available to the public via the website.

Ask if there could be a police officer who could watch the drop box.

The Board is also looking into possibly another drop box and will make a request to get the funding for it.

Meeting adjourned

***If you would like to volunteer to attend BOE meetings and report the findings to The Peanut Gallery, please contact peanutgallery@newgeorgiaproject.org. Our volunteers assist us in holding BOEs accountable and keeping citizens informed.

Join our online volunteer training April 28 by signing up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScRg7XOdimb9mIfd5S2lt6Ro45F0tNDk6YhaVYjwN-vlZBZkQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1

 

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