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Fulton County Board of Elections Special Meeting 07/20/20

Board Members Present

  • Mary Carole Cooney, Chairperson 
  • Vernetta Keith Nuriddin, Vice Chairperson
  • Mark Wingate
  • Dr. Kathleen Ruth 
  • Aaron V. Johnson 

Link to full meeting:

Fulton County Board of Elections July 20, 2020 Special Meeting Notes

Meeting Called to Order

Agenda approved

Public Comments

  1. Jeanne Dufort – Coalition for Good Governance – Fulton County did not meet requirements for secrecy. Law requires 10% paper ballots but can have more
  2. Shea Roberts – candidate for Georgia House district 52 – ballot secrecy is required and a guarantee
  3. Marilyn Marks – Executive Director of Coalition for Good Governance; fear that low turnout for the August Run-off will create false sense of election problems solved. Secrecy is still an issue. Should run hand marked ballots parallel with the machines.
  4. Bea Brown – Intern for Coalition for Good Governance – I went to observe testing for voting machines at the Fulton County Warehouse at1365 English St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. Testing for the number of machines is about 1,000 hours. No testing has been done as of July 9. They need to be tested and observed. All votes should be counted. Not all absentee ballots were not counted because scanners were not working.
  5. Aileen Nakamura – member of Coalition for Good Governance; check-in process was the biggest problem. Need to have at least one paper poll book when the check-in goes down.
  6. Liz Throop – Fulton County poll watcher; May 19 observed one hour plus wait with 25 people in line. 3 carriers; people standing shoulder to shoulder; In Dekalb absentee ballots can be dropped at polling location during early voting. 80+ year old woman with a cane came to drop her absentee ballot. The poll worker made her cancel her absentee ballot and vote on the machine. That held up the long line.

Communications (Corbett)

  1. Many challenges and frustrations
  2. Where, when to go and what to expect; aware and making improvement


  • Trust
    • Works correctly
    • Cast ballot of choice
    • Vote counts
  • Equity
    • Resources distributed equitably through county
  • Communicate
    • FGTV
    • Web, email, social media
    • Work with elected officials, students and service organizations
    • Media
    • Direct Mail
  • Key Audience
    • Special voter groups – seniors and students
    • Influencer and community groups
    • Elected officers
    • Students
    • Service groups
    • Poll workers
    • Media

Key Messages for August 11

  • Convenient and safe for in person or mail-in-voting
  • Early voting is bigger and better
  • Added more locations, poll workers; improved training and processing absentee ballots
  • Encourage early voting or absentee ballots
  • Voter should verify polling place because of changes

Achieve Tactics

  • Direct Mail
  • Community outreach/influencer engagement
  • Email blasts/social media graphics
  • Website enhancements
  • Media/PR engagement

Changes between June and August (Barron)

June 9August 11
Poll Staffing
Poll Manager All staff June 9 plus
Assistant Poll manager +1 poll clerk at every poll
Line Manager +1 tech at every poll
Tech on callMeals provided
Very limited trainingDeveloped better curriculum
In-person training
Customer service
Early Voting
5 polling sites 20 polling sites
3 polling sites added 2-3 weeks into voting-18 throughout county (3/commission district)
8 total polling sites-1 mega site (State Farm Arena)
-1 outreach site (Palmetto library) August 3-7
Target – 40% early voters; not including absentee ballots
Absentee Ballot
Historically high volumeDedicated call center with 32 people
Challenge processing due to different formats and tech issuesStandard for absentee ballot requests
Difficult volume of supports callsAbsentee ballots accepted in drop box
Polling locations
Before June 9 dropped from 198 to 164Before August 11 – 175 reduced number of polls
45 changes – affected 10,000 votersHope will be >210 for November
Many polling locations coming back
Voters notified 2 weeks prior to election
Voting Equipment
First tie equipment usedHave check list to make sure all accessories are available
Challenges throughout countyPower connected August 10
Roving techEquipment unsealed, powered and ready to go at 3 am election day
Dedicated tech at all locations
Poll Support


Dr. Ruth – define influencers

  • Elected officials – mayors county commissioners, school board, non-profit, community organizations
  • Curbside service – Fliers handed out at libraries
  • Ms. Nuriddin – consider adding BOE to email list
  • Ms. Cooney – send copy of presentation to board
  • Mr. Wingate – How much TV coverage?
    • TV stations tour of State Farm Arena Friday
    • TV stations at Arena today

All drop boxes are monitored

Polling changes – same as last meeting

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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