Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections Meeting 08/27/20

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

  1. Welcome & Recognition of Visitors via Teleconference
  • Two poll pads did not work during the election on August 11

MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Request approval of the minutes from the regular Board meeting held Thursday, July 16, 2020

NEW BUSINESS:

  1. Approval to file a copy of the consolidated certification of returns for the August 11, 2020 Non-Partisan General Runoff Election as a permanent record in the minutes. (ACTION)
  • Action: Approved (sent in email last week)
  1. State Election Board gives unanimous green light to online absentee ballot portal
  • Link to electronic ballot application s/b added to State website (My/voter page?) but local office has not received final instructions. Per Jeanetta, the local website has ballot applications that can be completed online.
  • Many absentee ballots were not sent to the requested addresses for the primaries and runoff. Remedies for this expected to be activated for the next election and s/b visible in the portal. Jeanetta was asked by board to remind the state office.
  1. Discussion concerning Sunday Voting for the November 3, 2020 General Election    (ACTION)                                                         
  • Action: Not approved (moved by Fickling, no second)
  1. Suggested date / time:  Sunday, October 25 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  1. Discussion concerning build out of the current Board of Elections Office
  1. FY 2021 Supplemental Budget Request for Ballot Printing, Printing & Binding, Contractual Labor, Rental Equipment & Vehicles and Rental Trucks
  • Current bldg. owner wishes BOE to remain. Architects are working on renderings. BOE will need to request budget adjustments for renovations being considered for the existing BOE building on Pio Nono where elections are currently headquartered.
  • Ballots are different sizes and the required paper is expensive. Dominion printers will not accommodate all sizes for 2-sided ballots, which causes staff to have to manually turn larger paper for dual printing, leaving room for error. Dominion does not pay for the ink and paper, which was not the case with the past vendor. The previous vendor provided paper and ink. Board Chair Kaplan & previous Chair Ficklin requested reconsideration of Bibb County’s budget but no additional allocations were made to the FY21 budget.
  • Ficklin moved that a budget report will be on agenda for every meeting going forward. (Passed)

OLD BUSINESS:

Ficklin asked for a second early voting location, possibly downtown. The old location at Terminal Station might be a possibility. Suit has been filed because too few windows are open at the BOE during early voting. A suit has been filed due to minimum staffing for early voting.
Jeanetta says they do not have enough tabulators for adding sites. Tabulators are extremely expensive. Another Board member stated that most counties in GA comparable to Macon in the number of voters have multiple early voting locations. Jeanetta stated the approval process is lengthy and may not be resolved in time for the November election.

  1. Additional Official Absentee Ballot Drop Box for Macon-Bibb County (SOS Brad Raffensperger reopens grants for absentee ballot drop boxes)
  • Will be located next to City Hall. Requisition has been submitted. Jeanetta waiting for a quote.

OTHER BUSINESS:

  1. Items from the Elections Officer – Tom Gillon
  • Ficklin complained that the report has several errors and should have been corrected before being distributed.

Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports (CCDR)

Updated PFD and CCDR reporting list since the July 16, 2020 Board Meeting 

  1. Items from the Chief Registrar, Veronica Seals
    1. Voter registration deadline for the November 3, 2020 General/Special Election is October 5
    2. Turnout is expected to be 3 times as high 
    3. The Absentee Ballot Drop Box will officially open as required on Friday, September 18, 2020 which is 45-days prior to the election
    4. New Secretary of State Online Absentee Ballot Portal – Registrars will now be able to process online Absentee Ballot Applications via the SOS ElectioNet Dashboard – (See correspondence)
  1. Absentee in-person – Early Voting Begins Monday, October 12, 2020
  2. Rollover List issue date September 18 (Elderly & Disabled) – Ballots to be mailed from the rollover list – 10,332
  3. Returned Ballots – Ballots have not gone out at this time
  1. Active – 105,538       Inactive 9,133    Combined Total 114,671 as of date: 08/27/2020
  2. ElectioNet Voter Registration Dashboard Report 
    1. DDS Department Driver Services Applications – 1556
    2. OLVR – Online Voter Registration Applications 12
    3. Verification of Pending Voters – 12
  3. Items from Board Members
  1. Items from the County Attorney
    1. Response concerning whether the Board can require all poll workers to wear masks
  • At the July meeting, Mr. William Noland, County Attorney was asked to provide confirmation as to whether the Board can require poll workers to wear a mask. His opinion:
  • Yes, the Board can require this of poll employees per interpretation of Gov. Kemp’s executive order which states that a municipal or county government may not pass an ordinance, regulation, rule, etc., requiring masks in a polling place. We cannot, however, require the public to wear masks or any other PPE.Show less
  1. Items from the Supervisor
    1. Preparation for the November 3, 2020 General Election
    2. Preparation for General/Special Election Poll Worker Training
    3. Proofing Ballots
    4. Order 18” ballots for absentee voting
    5. Preparation of the Sample Ballot (Copy of preliminary unofficial sample ballot not to be distributed until approved)
  • Training is underway for poll managers. Ficklin informed the Board that voters were turned away without provisional ballots at Bellevue; someone else on the call added that it also happened at the N.E. location. (I know that this happens because many people do not know to ask. I have informed people that they can ask for provisional ballots. See notes of my email correspondence)
  1. Correspondence: (Copies for Board meeting files)
    1. Updated list of elected officials who filed Personal Financial Disclosure (PFD) and/or Campaign Contribution Disclosure (CCDR) Reports after the deadline
    2. Copy of preliminary composite sample ballot – not to be distributed until completed
    3. An Ordinance of the Macon-Bibb County Commission enacting a local option face covering requirement in accordance with Executive Order 08.15.20.01, issued by Governor Kemp on August 15, 2020 (Commission approved this Ordinance August 25, 2020)
    4. An Ordinance of the Macon-Bibb County Commission to establish face covering requirements for entry into county property, in accordance with Executive Order 08.15.20.01, issued by Governor Kemp on August 15, 2020
    5. Brad Raffensperger reopens grants for absentee ballot drop boxes
    6. State Election Board gives unanimous green light to online absentee ballot portal

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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