Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections Meeting 02/01/21

Meeting Start- 1:00 Meeting End-2:00

Members Present

Jeanetta Watson 

Henry Ficklin 

Herbert Spangler

Cassandra Powell

Mike Kaplan

The Meeting starts with a Poll observer from the Aclu describing an event to the Chairman Kaplan of the Board in which 7 voters were turned away from a polling place in the county and denied a provisional ballot. The observer further states that employees at the polling place acted very disrespectful and dismissive of the voters claims and further suppressed the voters right to vote. The Aclu observer stated the  accused poll worker “Mr. Pierce” said that he welcomed a lawsuit and dismissed the claims.

Kaplan acknowledges the issue and discusses further action  to be taken 

 Kaplan Motions to approve Minutes from previous meeting 

Motion Passed Minutes Approved

Kaplan Motions to approve the records from the runoff election

Motion approved

A member from the board discusses the poll watcher issue that some counties and bibb county had by allowing an unlimited number of poll watchers or observers at a precinct at one time. With the added problem of Co-vid and lack of communication she feels the county should create a rule to combat this.

The county saw an increase in In Person Voting and use of absentee ballots during both January and November elections. A member expresses that more workers will be required for future elections due to recounts or election audits that might occur. The board member also states the need for direct communication with the media team or website manager for the county to make sure information is updated more often in the county as well as an open records request manager.

50-55 open records requests have been processed in the county last year in contrast to the normal 2-3 that are usually processed.

The same board member calls for a community outreach leader to help communicate with the public more effectively. She wants to look ahead to the 2022 Midterms and would like to have a person to coordinate with to project information to the community. They are already getting calls about information on the 2022 Midterms. 

Redistricting for the census is also happening but no set time or date has been set. The board member wants this to happen before the 2022 midterms though so moving voters to new precincts and polling locations won’t be confusing. The county also is looking to switch the church polling locations to bigger ones due to size, this will also require the hiring of new poll workers which would happen in the Fall of 2021 for the 2022 elections. 

The county will also hire more election technicians for polling machine problems that would occur.

Ms powell asks Jeanetta watson if the poll watchers are required to have training and Jeanette answers no but will work with the groups and parties to further educate their watchers for further events.

 Kaplan suggests that there be some kind of continuity with poll workers being trained and following rules in the county.

Veronica 

109,543 active voters in county 

6,990 inactive voters in county 

116,553 total in county 

2,767 DDS voter registration applications ready to process

299 online voters registrations ready to process 

Mr Ficklin discusses poll workers who needed to be paid for the run off election for hazard pay. He wants the supervisor to control the payroll and extend the payment to them.

The other members in the board state that the money from the grant used previously to cover the election hazard pay was used for training for poll workers instead.

Mr. Ficklin says that some poll workers say they have been mistreated by the  Board of Election by receiving little communication on this issue.  Ficklin also says  one poll worker received a check 50$ less than other poll workers leading to another issue with payroll.

Ficklin makes a motion to work with the attorneys in the county to resolve those issues

Motion is passed

Kaplan says he doesn’t like the word mistreated and nobody has been mistreated but in contrast to this statement, the worker who received the shortened check actually tells the board she feels she has been mistreated and her problems aren’t important during the public comments.

Ms. Powell brings up a problem with some voters receiving ballots in the mail this week and not being able to vote because of that. She states that some voters who live in close proximity to the post office has just now received ballots that were sent out previous weeks ago.

Ms. Powell’s say she would like to look into this and the Postmaster in the county.

Motion to adjourn 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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