Cobb County Board of Elections 08/20/20

Meeting Notes:

  • Virtual Meeting called to order at 12:03pm

Public Comment

  • Priscilla Smith – a Marietta resident with Kennesaw mailing address and a candidate for House District 34.
    • She thanks the Board of Elections for their attempts to request funding from the Board of Commissioners.  Georgia is #1 in COVID, so she applauds the Board’s efforts, asks that they continue spreading the word regarding mail-in voting and drop boxes for Nov. 3rd election.
  • Monica Delancy – activist – How does Board plan to address the homeless vote (so many people getting evicted, due to COVID)?  And, when absentee ballots are rejected, does the Board do research to find voter? 
    • She also wants to address the issue of people who run for office who do not live in the district.  Ms. Delancy made a passionate plea: What are we voting for?  Judges who enforce evictions, legislators who make the laws that the judges follow?
  • Lisa Campbell – former candidate for HD35, thanks Janine Eveler and the Board regarding their attempts to get funding for ballots, disappointed that Board of Commissioners wouldn’t even discuss it. 
  • Thank you for hard work during the run-off election.  Please ensure that equal right to vote continues.  She would like to see/hear information going forward on the following:
    • What mitigation efforts are being made to see that what happened in June does not happen in November?
    • What is the status of recruiting poll workers?
    • What is the training plan for the new poll workers?
    • What is the status of onsite tech support for upcoming election?
    • Will there be additional advanced voting locations?
    • What is the status of the additional drop box locations?  They should be in place by September 15th.
    • What are plans to communicate all of this information to the public?
  • George Balbona – activist – He requests that the election results not be certified, especially Turner Hill.  The numbers did not add up.  Poll manager had him evicted from location – even though he informed workers of his reason for being there. 
    • “Abigail” lied and said he made a scene.  He was just asking that the results be posted so that he could take a photo.  Cobb BOE needs to have a written report (?)
  • Chairman Phil Daniel reiterated that the public comment portion of the meeting was just for public comments, it was not a Q&A, back and forth conversation.
  • Mr. Daniel also repeated information on where the public could go to get updated information about elections: MyVoterPage and cobbelections.org
  • Director’s Election Night Report and Certification of August 11, 2020 Runoff Election
  • Janine Eveler went over the results of the election.  Board members had a packet of information that will be posted on the website. (Here is a link to the results page on the website https://results.enr.clarityelections.com/GA/Cobb/104514/web.258506/#/summary)
  • Ms. Eveler went over a few statistics.  There were some challenges during the runoff election.  Several items were left at polling places and had to be retrieved.
  • 524,307 voters in Cobb County.  There were 56,000+ ballots cast, which is 10.8%.
  • Provisional ballots issued – 129 holdovers due to signature mismatched. Voters were notified, 31 were cured.
  • Absentee vote by mail – 32,389
  • Early voting in person – 5,836
  • Summary reports will be put on website
  • She confirmed ballots – no discrepancies to stop certification.
  • Board voted to certify the election results.
  • Board then voted to approve past meeting minutes.
  • Regular Business
  • Janine Eveler addressed many of the questions asked during public comment.
  • Schedule for advance voting is on the website. There will be more locations and times than previously, for the entire three weeks of advance voting https://www.cobbcounty.org/elections/voting/advance-voting
  • Drop boxes – There will be 16 total, 6 currently installed, others by September 15.  Next week the Board of Commissioners will have on the agenda the BOE’s request to purchase cameras and memory for the locations.  Should be approved. 
    • Cameras must be in place before the boxes are installed. Determined that it is better for these to be on county property because of need to maintain cameras, etc.  Will be evenly disbursed.  Still looking for location for District 3.
  • Tech Support – state provided tech during runoff, not enough, a lot to learn, working with state.
  • Recruiting plans – there is a plan for a flyer to be distributed, using website and social media, working with other organizations
  • Poll Worker Outreach – website has information.  The 28 supervisors do the actual hiring.  Each supervisor oversees 408 polling places.
  • There will be a meeting the first week of September regarding staffing (new applicants).  The lists will be returned to the BOE to be added to pool.  It is a lengthy process of several weeks.  Training schedule still in flux, need location where social distancing can occur.  Training will occur between September 14 and third week of October and online version will be available for late sign-ups.  Board member, Jessica Brooks, stated that she had attended a training session and found it to be very hands-on.
  • Vice Chair, Fred Aiken, asked question about the number of resignations of poll workers.  Janine said that there were resignations, including supervisors.  Regular staff filled in during June election, which caused shortage of staff in the office.  This was better planned for in August.  Mr. Aiken asked, if someone resigns, can they reapply?  Janine said that they would have to start over at the bottom each time.  Currently there is someone in place as the training supervisor who is trying to do that job plus their regular job.
  • Phil Daniel asked Janine to explain how they determine who signed absentee ballot.  Ballots are compared to registration signature.  Ballot does not need to be signed exactly (the name) like the registration, but comparisons are done to determine if the signature was made by the same person.  They have lots of iterations to compare to, from previous elections sign-ins, etc.  All signatures are saved.  
  • Janine also talked about maintenance of the voter rolls.  They have staff who do this all the time, comparing to obituaries, vital statistics, jury pools, lots of list maintenance takes place.  If USPS returns election mail with new address, the staff reaches out to the voter.  There is an annual address checking process that takes place statewide.
  • Jessica Brooks mentioned AJC article about removal of inactive voters after November election.  Janine explained that purges of inactive voters occur during odd years by the state.  When the state mailed out 6+million applications to voters, the state told the counties to delete voters whose mail was returned.  Some counties did.  Cobb disagreed and didn’t do it.  Will review the process later.  
  • If a voter is marked as inactive, all you have to do is request an application for ballot, or simply vote, to become active again.
  • Next regular meeting, September 14, 2020 at 4pm. 
  • (IN REVIEWING PUBLIC NOTICES, DATED 8/21/20, BEFORE SUBMITTING THIS REPORT, IT WAS NOTED THAT A SPECIAL MEETING IS NOW ON THE CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 AT 4PM TO DISCUSS TWO MORE PRECINCT CHANGES.)

Questions: info@cobbelections.org

At this point, moderator mentioned that there were virtual attendees who had planned to speak during public comment, but who arrived late to meeting.  The Chairman denied the option to speak at this late point in the meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 12:47pm.


Did you know that the public can attend Board of Elections meetings? 

These meetings are open to the public by Georgia law. Georgia Open Meetings Act.

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