Glynn County Board of Elections and Registration Minutes 08/18/20

  • The August meeting of the Board of Elections and Registration was called to order by Chairman Gibson at 6:30pm.

Members Present:

  • Patricia Gibson, Chairman
  • Patricia Featherstone, Vice Chairman
  • Keith Rustin, Secretary
  • Sandy Dean, Member
  • Tommy Clark, Member
  • Christopher Channell, Supervisor
  • Christina Redden, Assistant Supervisor
  • Mark Johnson, Attorney
  • Penny Hennessy
  • Max Hess

Public Comment:

  • No public comment

Approval of Minutes of July 14, 2020 Regular Board Meeting

  • The minutes were approved unanimously.

Old Business

  • Board Member Political Activities
    • A finalized list of Board member guidelines for political activities was reviewed.
    • Ms. Gibson emphasized this list will be adaptable guidelines and not a permanent part of official Board bylaws and policies.
    • Ms. Dean made the motion to approve the Board Member Guidelines for Political Activities, Ms. Featherstone seconded.
    • The motion was approved 5 – 0.
  • Office Space
    • Ms. Gibson reported on the meeting with County Commissioner O’Quinn regarding the need to expanded office space.
    • Commissioner O’Quinn was receptive to the Board’s needs.
    • Mr. Clark stated he would contact the candidates for Commission seats asking for their review of the issue.
    • Mr. Clark will also invite Commissioner Booker to tour the office and discuss space needs.
    • Mr. Channell presented initial data comparing the square footage used in other counties.
    • All Board members agreed this issue must continue to be actively pursued, especially before FY22 budgeting
  • Early Voting Metrics
    • Mr. Channell explained Monday evening voter turnout was low again.
    • Mr. Rustin stated the need to reevaluate early voting schedule after the conclusion of the 2020 election cycle.
    • Mr. Channell noted the turnout at St. Simons and how it may become necessary to find an alternative, larger space.
    • Early voting must occur in a government building which limits options on the island.

New Business

  • August Runoff
    • The 2020 General Primary Runoff was certified earlier this day.
    • 11 Provisional ballots were tabulated and the results are now official and complete.
    • 19 of 20 precincts opted to set up the night before election day and the results were positive.
    • Ms. Gibson and Ms. Featherstone stated the precincts each visited that day seemed better prepared and were generally well-functioning teams.
    • Ms. Featherstone reported that poll managers and workers found the July teams training very beneficial and should be repeated before November.
    • The Ballard poll manager requested better organization between the transition from early voting to election day.
    • Ms. Gibson expressed concern over social distancing occupancy limits in the precinct.
    • Mr. Channell explained those limits were according to the Governor’s executive order.
    • The Board will follow any social distancing rules in November.
    • St. William will only allow 10 voters in the building at a time no matter which State social distancing rules are in place.
  • Office Report
    • Mr. Channell reported the FY20 Budget has not yet closed and the FY21 Budget is on track.
    • Budget goals for FY22 should be discussed in September.
    • Poll worker pay data collection continues.
    • Mr. Rustin stated office permanent and seasonal staffing should be addressed in the FY22 budget.
    • Mr. Channell noted the full time Dominion technician position will end in January and plans should be made to fill those duties in-house and through a service contract with Dominion.
    • Mr. Clark plans to discuss these needs with the Commissioners.
    • In additional office business, the petition for the Keith Higgins, Independent Candidate for District Attorney, has arrived.
    • There are approximately 6700 Glynn County signatures to be verified and the State has asked for verification of at least 3500 by August 24.
    • Mr. Channell also presented a summary of Magnolia Manor’s voter assistance procedures to be considered in the development of a pamphlet for facilities countywide.
    • The State has selected Glynn County to partake in a pilot audit program to determine the quickest and most accurate way to verify results.
    • The Runoff ballots will be audited.
    • Poll workers will be called in to assist.
    • The State will video the event for statewide training and the press will be invited.
  • Board Member Comments
    • Ms. Featherstone commented on her contacted county HR and Finance and found it difficult to get historical data for poll worker pay.
    • The decision was made to track the previous payroll of a longtime poll worker to look for pay increases in the past.
  • Executive Session
    • Mr. Clark made a motion to go into Executive Session to consult with the attorney, Ms. Featherstone seconded the motion.
    • Ms. Gibson informed the public no action would be taken in Executive Session.
    • The motion passed 5 – 0.
    • The Board came out of Executive Session.
    • Ms. Dean made the motion to follow the advice of counsel as presented in Executive Session.
    • Ms. Featherstone seconded this motion, the motion passed 5 – 0.
    • Mr. Johnson stated he will draft a letter to the Attorney General and Secretary of State’s office.
    • Mr. Rustin will create a press statement regarding the letter.
    • Ms. Gibson requested the Board and office staff have no comment on the legal advice until the letter is delivered.

Adjournment

A motion was made to adjourn and approved 5-0.


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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