Members present: Myesha Good (chair), David Fedack, Robert Proctor, Daniel Zimmerman, Maurice Hurry
Director: Milton Kidd (MK)
- New business—MK had a staff member read a letter sent to BOE from Democrats in the Douglas County legislative delegation: They requested that the BOE consider increasing access to absentee ballots by 1) mailing applications to all voters, 2) providing additional drop boxes, 3) adding more early voting sites and including a Sunday option. They suggested federal coronavirus funds could be used to pay for it.
- MK’s response—they are working on adding four more drop boxes and adding two additional sites. They’ll have more early voting sites than any other comparable county. To mail out applications to all voters will require they make a request to the county commission stating the case and asking for additional funds.
- Zimmerman: drop boxes tie up two staff persons every day for 49 days because they’ll have to pick up the ballots. MK responded they have the capacity to handle it. He said he anticipates doubling or tripling the number of application requests even if applications aren’t mailed to all voters. Zimmerman asked about monitoring equipment at each drop box site. MK responded they plan to add sites that already have video equipment for monitoring.
- MK noted there might be problems with the postal service, which makes it important they have more drop boxes available. He reiterated he expects thirty to fifty thousand requests for absentee ballots, based on their experience during the primary.
- Zimmerman asked how many ballots are left in drop boxes. MK said he would have to check, though he noted there were five thousand on the last day during the primary. In response to Zimmerman’s question about paying for them, MK said they have the funds.
- Hurry moved that the BOE recommend applications be mailed to all voters and that the BOE request funds from the board of commissioners. Fedack seconded the motion. During the discussion, Proctor said he was concerned about the cost of mailing ninety-six thousand applications. MK said the costs would be itemized in the presentation to the commissioners, if the BOE approves making a request.
- The motion passed 3 to 2. Good, Fedack, and Hurry voted for it; Zimmerman and Proctor voted against it.
- MK said he and the staff will prepare a proposal for BOE’s review.
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