Richmond County Board of Elections Meeting 09/14/20

Members Present:

  • Tim McFalls
  • Sherry T. Barnes
  • Marcia Brown
  • Terence Dicks
  • Bob Finnegan

Meeting notes:

  • Meeting start: 6:00; Meeting end 7:00
  • Lynn Bailey says the county has 22,300 absentee ballots that have been processed and ready to send out by September 19th,2020. Also stated that the pre-filled ballots that were mailed out were very helpful.
  • Bailey says the county is reminding voters constantly about drop boxes and to immediately vote their ballots once they receive them not to wait.
  • The secretary of state paid for the first mailing of the ballots to rollover voters from the June 9th election but the county will have to pay for the next wave of mailing.
  • The sos office has proposed a package for a contractor for the counties to use to mail out any absentee ballots.
    • The package costs 1.40 per ballot and Bailey says the county has opted in to using the package. This covers Sept 20- Oct 16th. Beginning Oct 17th counties would be responsible for mailing out ballots.
  • Bailey says the process of signature verification starts with a ballot verifier  simply checking the ballot signature with previous signatures of the voter from documents they have signed.
    • She says the process works great. When they can’t verify the signature, it has to pass through several checks before it arrives at Bailey.
    • Then the voter is contacted to verify their signature and is sent an affidavit to rectify their ballot.
  • Oct 19th will start the early  processing of absentee ballots. Will run daily weekdays 
  • From  10/19 to 10/30 10am to 4pm. Will use 6 teams of workers to help.
    • Bailey says the county has enough funds to purchase another drop box by a grant. The south side service center has offered for the county to use.
    • The only cost would be the memory card for the Camera.
  • Motion to open drop boxes on September 28th
    • Motion passed
  • The county is opening the drop boxes on September 28th but Bailey wants to open the boxes September 21st.
  • Motion to Open Drop boxes at September 21 
    • Motion passed
  • Bailey also says  the drop boxes will be reused in 2022.
  • Bailey says the county has sent out 107,000 pre filled absentee ballots to voters in Richmond county that did not request an absentee ballot. 
  • Bailey says the county is moving the advanced voting location to the Bell Auditorium and wants to run advertisements on Augusta transit and digital billboards pro-bono to start outreach. 
    • She also says the county has used inserts to inform voters in utility bills.
  • The Bell Auditorium will have 2 security guards and will provide all the hand sanitizer needed.
  • McFalls says this strategy is great but there still might be a gap of spreading information.
  • For Poll worker training it will Sept 22nd. They will look at doing dual training.
  •  They will have 19 classes with 20 people in each class in person at the county election surplus warehouse.
  •  9 classes with 40 students at municipal building 
  • These workers will include 174 clerks and 110 High school students.
  • Working with the Augusta University cyber team to post Poll worker job opportunities on their Handshake Portal and the Secretary of state has also used a portal.
  • Bailey says it might take at least 450 workers to cover this election.
  • Bailey says the county will look to other sources of funding to free up some of the CARE act funds. She says the county has applied to a grant from Mark Zuckerberg to help fund elections. 
  • The county has found a storage space for voting equipment on the Butler High school campus
  • And are planning to move the voting equipment to the building September 17th. This will also be where all voting equipment will be tested and deployed.
  • They will be responsible for small maintenance but all major maintenance will be covered by the school board. 

Next meeting Oct 12th, 2020

Motion to adjourn the meeting

Motion passed


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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