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Gwinnett County Board of Elections Meeting 07/21/20


  • Nov 3, 2020 referendum

Board Members:

All board members were present.

Meeting Notes:

Do we have enough poll workers for Aug 11? Kristi Royston: “No, Not Yet.”

  • Look a surrounding locations for overage to cover shortage.
  • How short are you? Royston: 74 Percent Staffed for Election Day. (Not Early Voting)
  • Primary source for poll officials?
    • Historically: In the data base and want to serve. Roll over.
  • Increased recruitment efforts through community events. Reached out to high schools and colleges
  • SOS office too. Word of mouth, Social media recruiting.
  • The current 74 percent: is what is in the data base from before.
  • Majority of 74 percent have work polls before. (no new blood. Recruiting is lagging for new faces.)
  • Taylor: What additional recruiting efforts?
    • Royston: Fliers. Reaching out to SOS.
  • Approved poll officials.

Royston: Mailing absentee ballots.

Changing fairground polling place to Rhodes Jordan Park Gym.

  • Fair grounds already booked for another thing. Rhodes Jordan Park Gym as substitute. Split the gym by precinct.
  • Sign posting: will post 3 signs notifying of the move to the new location.
  • Mail a letter announcing new location.
  • They are going back to Fairgrounds on Novemember- just temp for August 11.
  • Motion to change polling to Rhodes Jordan Gym just for Aug 11. Approved.

Cost of Absenttee/Advance by Mail Application Mailer to Active Voters: item not budgeted.

  • Royston: we have a print and mail vendor on contract. Reached out the company to see what the charge would be. Application will have Eng and Spanish on it.
  • 352,000 dollars for a 6×9 2-3 colors- printing and postage.
  • Data process fee is not included.
  • First 2 hours are free.
  • 150 dollars an hour after that. Data processing cost could not be estimated by the vendor.
  • Sure Bill – envelopes and forms inc. Local.
  • Bids? already have a contract with Sure Bill.
  • Sure Bill is on contract.
  • O’Lenick: thinks it’s better to spend 350,000 dollars on poll workers and resources.
  • Absentee by mail applications sent to all voters: Approved

Paid Postage absentee by mail. (return envelope)

  • Wandy Taylor: Sheer numbers of absentee ballots: be more forward thinking in how we approach this. People use these much more.
  • O’Lenick: Thinks the premise is wrong. Thinks the future won’t be like this. She doesn’t think there’s going to be more absentee ballots in the future. Doesn’t like to pay for postage in the BOE budget. “I’m fiscally responsible”.  She thinks postage and mail in ballots are wasteful. “We can’t spend money like crazy just because voters want it.”
  • O’Lenick: Doesn’t like absentee ballots. Concentrate on in-person voting.

Royston: Elections Budget and Administrative Budget.

  • 2 budgets. Doesn’t have the figures tonight.
  • Royston: Keep in mind what if state says “we won’t cover postage”.
  • Paid returned postage on absentee.

Royston: Personal email vs. official county account:

  • County would not pay for those email accounts.

Dropbox locations for Nov elections:

  • 8 in place. Every day pickup. (24 hour)
    • Green: indicates current.
    • Red Boxes: county owned properties with 24 hour surveillance
  • Royston: How many boxes do we want to purchase?
    • Box is 3000$ for each. Box and branding.
  • Stephen Day: There’s a bias toward Democratic Precincts in the box placements.
  • O’Lenick: Look into the new Police station in Grayson. Better republican district access.
  • Royston: how many boxes should I order?
  • Possibility of broadcasting the meetings?
  • Royston: if we were going to do this- gotta get county approval and scheduling communications staff.
  • Their team would be able to accommodate televising a meeting.
  • They could use existing resources as long as it’s conducted in the auditorium.
  • Then checking calendar availability of the auditorium is needed.
  • Not feasible this calendar year without changing dates a lot.
  • Royston will check on meeting dates for televising and report back- need consistent dates.

Public Comments:

1. I’ve applied, but not have recieved the ballot.

  • (with NAACP) I would like the option.
  • COVID while temporary, it has changed habits.
  • Make absentee available for all without an application.
  • I would like to automatically get one and be on that list.

2. Diane Fisher, League Of Women voters:

  • Guarantee remote attendance of meetings. Public Access.
  • Dropboxes: Government sites- not just county could be used.

3. Rep. Clark: Thanks for approving the Abs. Ballot applications.

  • We should pay for postage!
  • Precinct changes: Last min change June 9th primary at one of the churches. Because it was last minute- a sign was put up. Voters would have to actively search. No info on the website. Voters should be notified by mail about the new location on Aug 11th. It’s not clear how long change is in effect. Could discourage voters.

4: Absentee Ballot: necessary for people who have busy schedules

5. Make the website clearer. Be better about communicating with the public and keep meetings televised and open. Absentee ballots are crucial for public health.

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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