Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections Meeting 07/16/20

Summary:

  • The Board clarifies that they will Process Application Requests placed in ballot Dropboxes
  • Members are notified that some candidates has access to Information about results that others did not.
  • Members of the Public are not required to wear PPE to vote in person

Meeting Notes:

  • Recognition of Visitors
  • B. Ms. Stephanie Miller from the Whitby campaign discussed several issues:
    • Polls opening Time: What has been done to address those issues to ensure polls are opened on time? If they do not open on time, have provisions been made to extend voting hours?
    • Distribution of proper ballots to voters: Noted that at some of the polling locations, provisional ballots were handed out instead of emergency ballots.
    • Transparency of information: It appeared that some candidates had access to election results that others didn’t. Suggestion that all election results come through a single point to allow equitable distribution..
  • Mike Kaplan asked Jeanetta R. Watson, Elections Supervisor about the proper response to the issues presented by Ms. Miller.
    • Ms. Watson indicated that both a written and a short verbal response should be made.
  • Response by Kaplan: Polls were open, but there were technical difficulties getting them up and running…
  • He also stated that hours would be extended to compensate for opening problems. He noted that he felt the Board would be in agreement with this…
  • On the transparency issue, he noted that the Whitby campaign had someone at the location and was given information as soon as it came off the presses…
  • Tried to be as transparent to everyone.
  • Response by Ms. Watson: Provisional and Emergency Ballots provided due to technical issues with the machines. Provisional and Emergency Ballots are used for certain reasons, but as long as the voters were able to vote, it really didn’t matter if they had the provisional or emergency ballot as long as the reason was documented on the ballot…
  • Training of the poll workers has been accomplished.
  • Ms. Miller thanked the Board. She also stated that there was more detailed information available for some as a whole. She suggested that information should be held in confidence and issued by a designated source…
  • Mr. Ficklin offered a motion that the questions posed Ms. Miller be written up and given to the campaigns. It was seconded and voted to approve by the Board. Mr. William Noland, Board attorney, was directed to prepare the letter, subject to review by Mr. Kaplan. Mr. Noland noted that he should be ready the following day…

New Business

  • Drop Boxes are ready to go. Open for completed absentee ballots. The boxes are located at the Macon Bibb County Board of Elections. The boxes were extended for use in the runoff election. Mr. Ficklin asked about voters who placed absentee ballot requests in the Drop Box. It was later determined that there were requests in the Drop Boxes, and that they were being processed.
  • Drop Boxes are ready to go. Open for completed absentee ballots. The boxes are located at the Macon Bibb County Board of Elections. The boxes were extended for use in the runoff election. Mr. Ficklin asked about voters who placed absentee ballot requests in the Drop Box. It was later determined that there were requests in the Drop Boxes, and that they were being processed.

OTHER BUSINESS

Items from the Board Members

  • Sandy Powell commented about poll managers not communicating poll results as discussed in a previous meeting…
  • Ms Watson noted that this had been discussed but not approved. Cost for the phones was a major concern…

Public Comments

  • Carolyn Hargrove asked about ballots being automatically sent to voters 65 and older. It was noted that the absentee ballot request that voters received had an area on it that should have been marked authorizing the request for those ballots.
  • There was discussion concerning placing requests for absentee ballots in the new Drop Boxes. It was noted that those requests would be processed even though the boxes were designated for absentee ballots…
  • Elaine Johnson asked about PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) requirement for voters and poll workers…
    • Voters are not required to wear specific PPE. Poll workers will have PPE available to wear.
    • Elaine Lucas asked that William Noland check on PPE requirements for poll workers, and if they could be required to wear them.
    • There was a motion to require poll workers to wear the PPE provided. The motion was seconded and approved by Board members.
    • Elaine Lucas also suggested that face masks be made available at each polling site for voters just in case they chose to use it.
    • Ms. Lucas will check with the Board of Health and ECD to see if they can provide the masks.

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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