Nothing extraordinary in this week’s BOE meeting. The changing of the primary election dates is really screwing things up for the BOE.
Here are my observations:
- The SoS office wants to ship more equipment to the Forsyth BOE but they do not have enough room. This seems to be a problem with other BOE’s as well.
- Forsyth has received as of 5/4/20, 31,830 absentee ballot requests (they have never received more than 10,000)
- Most Absentee Ballots that they are receiving are signed and good to go. They have a stack of 192 that have signature mismatches. The BOE sent provisional ballots to these voters with an affidavit for them to sign – a stamped, self-addressed envelope was sent with the affidavit.
- Voters receiving their Absentee Ballots are finding that the inner “privacy” envelope is not in the ballot package. Instead a white piece of paper is included that says “Official Absentee Ballot Must Be Enclosed” that is to be used to replace the inner envelope. I received this and am not happy – my right to privacy is compromised with this new process.
- A drop box for the Elections office is on order. Currently people are sliding their ballots through the front door.
- Having enough PPE for poll workers is questionable. Masks and gloves are on order. Hand sanitizer and wipes are plentiful for Forsyth BOE.
- Advanced In-Person Voting
- The number of voting locations has been decreased. Previously, ll 5 early voting locations were to be open the first 2 weeks (including both Saturdays.) Now it is just the BOE office in Cumming for the first week of early voting, with no Saturday voting. The second week of early voting will be in the 5 early voting locations, weekdays only.
- The reduced locations is due to the huge drop in available poll workers. Especially Poll Managers and Assistant Managers are not willing to work in June.
- Also, the fact that fewer people can be in the room to vote (physical distancing) means they need fewer poll workers. How will the poll worker situation will work out is still TBD.
- The staff required to set up and tea down the polling equipment has dropped as well.
- Election Day Concerns:
- There may not be enough poll workers to open all 20 polling locations on election day. – TBD.
- Rule state that they must have one manager and 2 assistant managers per polling location.
- The plan for Forsyth BOE is to hold a special meeting around 5/27/20 to determine if all polling locations can open on election day in Forsyth.
- Poll Pads – to maintain physical distancing, poll pads may not be used. The SoS has not determined if this is what they are going to do.
- An Open Records Request was made in the county to verify that the new law states that if a line is longer than 30 minutes, then the polling location must go to paper ballots for the duration of the day. This was meant to be an answer to machines that go down. The county lawyer is going to provide council on this issue.
- It was brought up that some counties are going to provide voters with a number so that the voters can sit in their cars to wait to vote.
- Forsyth county now has 164,350 total registered voters, 7,989 are considered inactive.
This is going to be an interesting election year, no doubt about it.
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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