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Whitfield County Board of Elections Meeting 09/07/20

Members present: Stephen Kelehear (chair) and Carol Byers

Ex Dir: Mary Hammontree

  1. Chair commended staff for the way they conducted the primary election.
  2. Mary Hammontree reported 33 poll workers have dropped out since the last election. They have been replaced, and there are 25 more workers for the Nov election. She’s trying to get a bilingual worker in all precincts.
  3. Aug 11 runoff—not as many machines will be needed. Don’t anticipate problems setting them up.
  4. Chair raised issue of educating voters. MH said it’s a problem all over the state. There were 300 ballots marked incorrectly (checkmarks, X’s, circling the names), requiring the staff to duplicate them.  She will work on educating voters. Ideas discussed included providing information about filling absentee ballots on the webpage, twitter, the newspaper.  The chair made the comment “voting by mail isn’t feasible,” citing the fact voters don’t follow directions. MH said it was the worst election they’ve had for staff because handling mail-in ballots is time-consuming, which they had to do in addition to the in-person voting. The chair said fraud is a problem with mail-ins. MH said in a nursing home, one person was handling absentee ballots for the residents.
  5. MH said the Secretary of State will require a technician at all sites in November. She’s recruiting students and others to fill the slots.
  6. MH reported it took them four days to open 6,800 mail-in ballots. She’s checking on an absentee ballot opener that can open 18,000 ballots in an hour.
  7. Chair ended the meeting by saying he preferred the old way of voting to the current setup. 

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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