This was the first meeting of the newly appointed White County Board of Elections. Present were: BOE members: Marlon Caldwell, Todd Marks, Russell Mobley, Louise Nix, Dwayne Turner. Also present was Travis Turner, County Commission Chair; Judge Garrison Baker, former Probate Judge; Jason Cobb, County Manager (by Zoom), Jason Cobb; Lisa Manning, Chief Registrar; Wayne Hardy, Editor White County News. Prior to the meeting being called to order two people spoke about the task ahead of the BOE. Travis Turner stressed decisions are based on the law, non-partisan and they will work together as a group. As with all meetings they must be advertised and open to the public. (This meeting was advertised in the WC News two weeks prior.) The County Manager will be more involved to make sure the BOE is supported to get the job done. Garrison Baker will be a Magistrate Judge now but stated he would be available for information and advice. He stated they are walking into new territory with the possibility of election changes. Recommended they spend time with manuals regarding the new equipment to understand the process. Judge Baker also brought up between early voting, absentee ballot requests and the day of voting the office is handling voting over the long term. They are currently operating 11 precincts and having trouble finding poll workers due to COVID.
Meeting was called to order by Jason Cobb at 8:12 a.m. in the White County Board of Commissioners meeting room. The first order on the agenda was to elect a chair. Todd Marks nominated Dwayne Turner which was seconded by Russell Mobley. There was unanimous approval. Dwayne Turner then took over and asked to have a Vice Chair nominated. Marlon Caldwell nominated Todd Marks. There was unanimous approval. The next agenda item was meeting dates & time. They are required to meet quarterly but it was recommended they meet again later in January and then February and March. There is a conference on Jekyll Island in late August all members are encouraged to attend. They agreed to meet the first Monday of the month at 9:00 a.m. in the Registrars Office. The current meeting room is also available if more space is needed. It was noted meetings must be advertised. The next meeting will be on January 25th to discuss the Senate election process. The meeting will be at 9:00 am. Minutes will be kept by staff currently. White County has a new travel policy which will be given to the members. Jason Cobb is working on a manual to provide information. Marlon Caldwell asked what is the process if the public has a question. That would be handled by an open records request . Jason also said the BOE Chairperson is considered the spokesperson for the board. A new website will be up soon with BOE link providing information. Lisa Manning gave an update on the election to this point. She and Garrison Baker provided figures. Nov. Early Voting was 11,000 with 8,000 absentee ballots. January Early Voting is 5,300 with currently 2,282 absentee ballots. Tomorrow they are currently short 4 poll workers at two precincts. Fewer than November by @ 3,000. Concern about lines tomorrow if more voters show up and they are short poll workers. Meeting adjourned at 8:38 a.m. BOE members were going to see where the new machines were stored in the building.
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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