Athens-Clarke County Board of Election Meeting 7/7/20

Summary

  • The Board agrees to overhaul previous minutes to adhere to the agenda
  • Athens-Clarke County agrees to seek funding to send ballot applications to every voter in the county
  • Staff and board members are split on what the new time for regular meetings should be.

Board Members:

  • Jesse Evans, Chairperson evans.jesse.accboe@gmail.com
  • Charles Knapper, Assistant Chairperson knappercq@msn.com
  • Willa J. Fambrough, Secretary icook_ieforyou@bellsouth.net
  • Patricia Ann Till, Member patricia.till@accgov.com
  • Rocky Raffle, Member rocky.raffle@accgov.com

Clarke County Board of Election Meeting Notes

  • This meeting is called to order
  • Adoption of previous minutes and the Agenda
    • Regular Schedule Meeting-June 2, 2020 
    • Special Called Meeting (Election Day)-June 9, 2020 
    • Emergency Special Called Meeting-June 15, 2020
    • June 16, 2020- These notes have two sets and the board is confused as to why. They appear to be duplicates yet one has extra information
    • These notes are missing the motion to go out of the executive session and a motion is made and approved to include it.
    • June 18, 2020- The timestamp for a motion is in the Public Comments which is the wrong place.
    • The board is also not sure if topic d of new business is correct
    • A conclusion is drawn that the minutes do not align with the agenda and the board will have to go back and listen to the recordings.
    • The Agenda is approved and adopted

Public Comments

  • Greg Davis: Please send every voter in the county an absentee ballot. I am 69 which is the age range where the coronavirus is most dangerous. The election is not foremost in people’s mind during these difficult times. Do not make it more difficult for us to vote.
  • Linda Bishop: Many of you are vocal about voter suppression. I would like to know why you haven’t done anything about District 6. You have let these voters down. Anyone who saw what happened would call it voter suppression.

Director’s Update

These stats are for June 1st – through the election

  • 551 voters were added to the rolls
  • 657 ballots were mailed out
  • 43 Photo id cards
  • 0 felony removals
  • 29 voters verified
  • Absentee ballots mailing begins July, 29th
  • The county has received sample ballots for the runoff
  • There are three offices open for the runoff: Winterville, JJ Harris and our management facility
  • We have 680 rollover ballots that will be mailed.
  • Logic and accuracy testing began today and should finish tomorrow
  • The county is not currently mailing out ballots to all voters 
  • 5 new drop box locations
    • Fire station# 7
    • Cooperative Extension Building
    • Regional Library 
    • BOE Office
    • Transit Multimedia Location
  • Counties can now prepare and scan ballots prior to election day.
  • Resolution to call a special election in November to fill the unexpired term for our late commissioner. Special meeting for this on July 15th @ 3:30pm
  • On August 3rd, we will begin poll worker recruitment for November
    • In October, training will begin
  • The county will print its own ballots this August
  • Rock Raffle: Can we start the tabulation process early in November? Is it possible?
    • Director: Not only is it possible it’s the plan. We can start one week in advance
    • The plan is to form a team for this. More details will be provided in the September meeting.

New Business

  • June 9th Election review
    • Director does not have that at this time. Will be included in the August meeting
  • The board is drafting a letter to address issues with absentee ballot processing and laws.
    • Raffle: We should include Voter review panel concerns in this letter.
    • Cook: We should also ask what the voting machine is set for as I don’t think all the counties were on the same page. 
  • Some Polling Locations are too small with the social distancing measures in place 
    • 8 Locations so far need to be changed
    • The Director notes that there needs to be at least a 60 day notice.
    • The Director believes polling locations should not be changed until after August so as to avoid confusion
    • The board wants to avoid confusion but would also like to cut down on lines as much as possible
    • One solution would be to send out ballot to voters but just 30% would already cost $100,000 which is outside of the counties budget.
    • Just the applications alone would cost around $53,000. 
    • 65% of voters used the vote by mail option in the last election.
    • A motion is made to request the funding for this undertaking.
      • Motion passed 4-1
  • It has come to everyone’s attention that not all members of the board received on boarding training. 3 out of 5 of them did not.
    • Members who did not receive training are told they may attend it.
  • New regular meeting time discussion
    • Ms. Fambrough will not meet on Mondays as it is her rest day.
    • It is brought to the discussion that meeting after five will allow more of the public to attend as they are off work.
    • Other concerns listed is that one board member does not want to meet past 4:30 as she refuses to drive at night.
    • A motion is made to hold meetings the third Thursday @ 5pm
    • Director cuts in: I hope that the board will consider staff during this decision.
    • The director is acknowledged yet staff chooses to go ahead anyway.
    • Director: I do not see this working. Both I and my staff work long overtime hours already.
    • Chairman tries to speak
    • Director: Do not cut me off I was not done. Most days I already work till 10 or 11 and with these 3 to 4 hour meetings means maybe midnight or who knows as I have many last minute things shoved onto me.
    • Chairman: With all due respect this is very unprofessional. This is the board’s decision to make. We understand that and think shifting the time will not adversely affect your hours. 
    • Random staff member: So the board doesn’t care about staff.
    • The staff member is ignored and a motion is made for the Third Thursday at 5pm
      • Motion defeated 3-2
    • A motion is made for the Third Thursday at 4:30 PM
      • Motion passed 3-2
  • Next regular meeting is scheduled August 18th @ 4:30 PM
  • Meeting Adjourned

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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