Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections Meeting 02/09/21

Adam Shirley starts off by reading the board member oath. Iccok(screenname) ask for a motion to adopt the agenda. Hunaid motion to adopt the agenda Rocky Raffle seconds it. Icook then wants to approve minutes from January 12 2021. Rocky Raffle moves to approve the minutes Hunaid seconds it. Everyone else approved it by saying I. Icook ask for public comments but there are none.

Directors Report:  Sosebc (screenname)reads it January consisted of an election where it was a holdout of voter registrations but they are up to date. So anyone that has any voter registration updates from the time that we had the January 5 election those have been updated. Right now they have 78389 active voters 5005 inactive voters in Athens – Clarke county.  A breakdown was read and said this report can be shared but not the names. There’s a lot of goals that they have for the first quarter of the year:

  1. Notice of Qualifying for the general municipal election for the city of (im not understanding the name I think they said hoterville) by law those qualifying need to be posted by February 1 they were posted and published in the legal origin
  2. Processing of voter registration application – these were processed already. The turnout for the 2020 election including the January 5 election was sent already to each board member
  3. She said she was still working on organizing the staff and duties as well as the lessons learned. She wanted to send a copy of the lessons learned to each board member so that they can add to it and even some of the things the voters might have shared. They can look at it for some practices for the 2022 election.

Manuel: They are communicating with the attorney office in making some more edits to the manual.  I’m waiting to hear from you guys with any feedback. Hopefully sometime next week we will have it ready for the March meeting. They have gotten the copies of the open record request. Then she asks for comments on what she has just went over.

Adam Shirley asks would it be best to request precinct specific data as far as square footage of the space etc. Then he asks Ms. fambro (not sure if im spelling it correctly) would it be relevant now or when they are talking about precinct stuff on the agenda. Ms. Fambro responds it’s never too soon to receive info so she says he can put it in his mind and have some ideas so when the other info is presented its a lot quicker to go into and resolve. Adam then ask director Sosbe did she have a chance to put together the info he was asking for. She responds that she hasn’t and explains why.  She suggests figuring out a timeline of when the general assembly would meet to discuss the lines and how they should be drawn and then look at polling locations. Next election is May 2022 by then they would meet and finalize the boundaries. She then went on to saying she would like to see commission driven lines and explains what that is (no splits).  Adam then ask what are everybody else’s thoughts on data gathering or the things in the email. Fambro ask what time of year does the general assembly meet and when they plan on taking it up in session. Rocky said he will be happy to reach out and ask to get more info and will send an email when he finds out.  Adam was totally ok with it. Sosbe then adds that this has been her 3rd redistry (not for sure on the word) process and it has been a rushed because they have been depending on the elected officials to provide them the demographics on how they want they want their lines drawn. For her in 2010 she was dealing with the elected officials contemplating on how they wanted their line drawn. So they had to do a rushed process of updating all voters and within 30 days they had to provide them with their districts. So basically if they have the county commission wise and an adequate amount of time they can easily figure out how they want to do their precincts (specifically if they are trying to do the commission districts and to have them with no splits). A lot of things took place in August and were finalized by February. There are so many technical things that they have in play   like the GSI department . Doing as much now will be better than waiting.  Ms. Fambro thanks her for the info and moves on to the agenda.

Old Business

GSI Update: Ms. Fambro opens the floor up for discussion, Adam ask for the catch up on what the ask was. Director Sosbe then speaks and says the board adopted a resolution for them to do a study the demographic of voter turnout and registration broken down by race and income. In the convo with the GSI department it would be middle of March before the census info is received and by then they will have deliverable info from GSI to move forward with the study. Adam ask so we are basically waiting on the census. Ms. Fambro then says yes and ask should they just take it off the agenda until April. Rocky moves it and Ms. Teal seconds it. All was in favor.

B. Seasonal Work Pay –Director Sosbe adds most counties compensate their workers not by hourly pay but per election. IF you have someone who didn’t work a whole day it will be difficult to figure out how much the worker should be compensated for. That’s why she made the request should we go with hourly or per election. Sosbe included it in her budget request and says it’s going to cost them it would increase 13200 total. Meaning moving the poll workers from 12,11,120 a hr. to 13,12,11 a hr.  Ms. Fambro says they are waiting for a budget approval but they shouldn’t keep talking about. She then asks Adam to add it back when its approved and to note it somewhere,

c. New Precincts for 2022 and Tentative Timeline for Potential Changes to Polling Places:  Adam says he believes they should consider moving the mall location away from the mall to the cooperative extension center. He says he has mentioned it before but people with mobility issues have a lot of trouble with the long distance into the location and the directional to get there are very poor. Director Sosbe then comes in and says the mall isn’t within the boundaries of the particular precinct its outside of it. The co section allows you to go outside of the precinct where you can prove that there aren’t any locations available within those boundaries. The law also says that if you consider a place outside the boundaries you can either fix the lines (where that location is included inside the boundaries) or prove you can’t find anything inside the boundaries. Sosbe says they should be fine except they should see if there are any more locations so that part of co section is covered. Rocky says he is confused ask what precinct number is the mall (6b) So then he asks is the mall outside of the lines of 6b. Adam says Yes. Rocky then continues and says the Cooperative Extension is a new building therefore it wasn’t in the lines of 6b or is it He thinks it will be a good opportunity. Sosbe agrees and says the way the line is drawn there would be voters that live in that voting precinct who would not be able to go to it. So it might be some confusion because you have voters not in the precinct coming to the precinct to vote. On the other hand, you have voters living in the precinct boundaries going over to Cleveland Elementary to vote. Rocky ask next time could she provide a map because it’s too much for him to visualize. Adam says he says he has found a map and he is now pulling up google map link to answer the question is the extension in 6ft? Sosbe says it sounds good.  Hunaid ask did they receive any complaints about confusion? Rocky said he talked to the manager after experiencing the trouble himself but not sure if they had any complaints. Sosbe said there weren’t many but when the board members have trouble that’s enough. Rocky says the Athens Clarke county commissioner supports that change. By now Adam put the link in the chat. Then he says all lines are subject to change and changing precincts for now that’s getting ahead of themselves. Ms. Fambro says she gets it because a lot of elderly people frequent the mall. Then everyone begins to rumble on where exactly it is. Ms. Fambro ask Rocky if he wants to vote on it now or wait to they get more info. Rocky then says let’s drop this it until the next meeting and be more informed and to discuss 6b in March. Hunaid seconds it. Adam interrupts and is concern that hes misunderstanding the agenda item as it was written however he loves the discussion about 6b but was curious to get kind of a timeline about potential changes for precincts meaning let’s think of the absolute latest changes could be made for 2022 and go from there. Very concerned on letting the item go until they have a tentative timeline. Ms. Fambro ask Rocky what his take was on that. Rocky said he had no opinion but he would like to be more informed on 6b. Ms. Fambro says what Adam is talking about something totally different. Sosbe now has come in and says to Adam she can create timeline that leads them to the May 2022 election explaining when’s the last time they can make changes, when voters need to receive their notifications, when they will post the signs out etc. Adam likes the sound of that and is satisfied. Everyone is in favor to move right along,

D. Time Limits on Agenda Items: Adam says its unnecessary and they should let it go and makes a motion to remove it. Rocky seconds it. Everyone agrees.

E. NEW BUISNESS:

1. Discussion of Voter Education and Voter Education Innovative:  Mr. hunaid asks everyone their definition of voter education. There will be some funds in the budget for voter education and he wants to know how the money will be spent. Ms. Fambro says voter education will be to help with all of the situations where voters may have made mistakes on their ballots /mail in ballots where they were discounted (signatures). She says that we need to make the public more aware of this amongst other things. Also another example reiterating times on ballot boxes. To sum it up to make sure people are able to vote and to make sure its counted. So then Ms. Teal says she wants to add things to do and things not to do as well. Ms. Fambro says their also needs to be more education on mail in (like the circles). People need to be really careful on how they mark in. There are plenty more things that can be added. Hunaid adds there is a lot of things like precinct changes etc. looking back at the past election the major area that he feels strongly about is gaining voter trust back. Hunaid says voter education to him is teaching everyone (those who are interested) on how the process works. 78000 registered voters 5000 inactive (starts mentioning voting stats). When the election is certified he wants to have a mechanism on the board of election website. Hunaid then add maybe in the future possible hosting seminars, Lots of people lost faith based on hearsay and justifying what to believe in. Based on how much money is budgeting I would like to spend money on voter education and the process. That was why he posted the question what was everyone else’s idea.  In January I asked was there a brief process or pamphlet on how it works . Hunaid went together and put together a brief timeline. Ms. fambro thanks him and totally understand what he is saying. In summary he just wants people to understand the ballot process. Adam then comes in and says he wants to make sure all votes are accounted. He wants to inform voters on why they should vote all the way down the ballot. What place could the BOE play in having a very basic voter guide explaining every position. Sosbe says she foresees mini videos that explains where they understand it (maybe with some 5th graders). It’s up to them to make sure they trust the system. If it means getting with the Pio officer and changing the format of our website (that’s hard) but are willing to do what they can to educate voters .Fambro asks can they remove from agenda and discuss it later when they get budget approval. Everyone agrees and says I after the motion.

Discussion or Request for printed by laws Orientation Manuel’s and required any Manuel’s or Handbooks: Ms. Fambro wanted this put on the agenda. She knows the bi laws and orientation manual wants to know if they can be mailed out or picked up at the office. She has 72-year-old eyes she wants to study but not look at the computer that long. Sosbe replies yes mam and she will print copies of the draft. The bi laws will be inserted in the orientation manual and inside will be a section about orientation which is done by human resources. Handbooks they are still trying to get them from the secretary of state office and they aren’t ready. There is a lot of revisions on co sections and looking at the general assemble there will be a lot of changes. As the documents come in Sosbe will send it to Fambro.  

Adam Shirley starts off by reading the board member oath. Iccok(screenname) ask for a motion to adopt the agenda. Hunaid motion to adopt the agenda Rocky Raffle seconds it. Icook then wants to approve minutes from January 12 2021. Rocky Raffle moves to approve the minutes Hunaid seconds it. Everyone else approved it by saying I. Icook ask for public comments but there are none.

Directors Report:  Sosebc (screenname)reads it January consisted of an election where it was a holdout of voter registrations but they are up to date. So anyone that has any voter registration updates from the time that we had the January 5 election those have been updated. Right now they have 78389 active voters 5005 inactive voters in Athens – Clarke county.  A breakdown was read and said this report can be shared but not the names. There’s a lot of goals that they have for the first quarter of the year:

  1. Notice of Qualifying for the general municipal election for the city of (im not understanding the name I think they said hoterville) by law those qualifying need to be posted by February 1 they were posted and published in the legal origin
  2. Processing of voter registration application – these were processed already. The turnout for the 2020 election including the January 5 election was sent already to each board member
  3. She said she was still working on organizing the staff and duties as well as the lessons learned. She wanted to send a copy of the lessons learned to each board member so that they can add to it and even some of the things the voters might have shared. They can look at it for some practices for the 2022 election.

Manuel: They are communicating with the attorney office in making some more edits to the manual.  I’m waiting to hear from you guys with any feedback. Hopefully sometime next week we will have it ready for the March meeting. They have gotten the copies of the open record request. Then she asks for comments on what she has just went over.

Adam Shirley asks would it be best to request precinct specific data as far as square footage of the space etc. Then he asks Ms. fambro (not sure if im spelling it correctly) would it be relevant now or when they are talking about precinct stuff on the agenda. Ms. Fambro responds it’s never too soon to receive info so she says he can put it in his mind and have some ideas so when the other info is presented its a lot quicker to go into and resolve. Adam then ask director Sosbe did she have a chance to put together the info he was asking for. She responds that she hasn’t and explains why.  She suggests figuring out a timeline of when the general assembly would meet to discuss the lines and how they should be drawn and then look at polling locations. Next election is May 2022 by then they would meet and finalize the boundaries. She then went on to saying she would like to see commission driven lines and explains what that is (no splits).  Adam then ask what are everybody else’s thoughts on data gathering or the things in the email. Fambro ask what time of year does the general assembly meet and when they plan on taking it up in session. Rocky said he will be happy to reach out and ask to get more info and will send an email when he finds out.  Adam was totally ok with it. Sosbe then adds that this has been her 3rd redistry (not for sure on the word) process and it has been a rushed because they have been depending on the elected officials to provide them the demographics on how they want they want their lines drawn. For her in 2010 she was dealing with the elected officials contemplating on how they wanted their line drawn. So they had to do a rushed process of updating all voters and within 30 days they had to provide them with their districts. So basically if they have the county commission wise and an adequate amount of time they can easily figure out how they want to do their precincts (specifically if they are trying to do the commission districts and to have them with no splits). A lot of things took place in August and were finalized by February. There are so many technical things that they have in play   like the GSI department . Doing as much now will be better than waiting.  Ms. Fambro thanks her for the info and moves on to the agenda.

Old Business

GSI Update: Ms. Fambro opens the floor up for discussion, Adam asks for the catch-up on what the ask was. Director Sosbe then speaks and says the board adopted a resolution for them to do a study on the demographic of voter turnout and registration broken down by race and income. In the conversation with the GSI department, it would be the middle of March before the census info is received and by then they will have deliverable info from GSI to move forward with the study. Adam asks so we are basically waiting on the census. Ms. Fambro then says yes and asks should they just take it off the agenda until April. Rocky moves it and Ms. Teal seconds it. All were in favor.

B. Seasonal Work Pay –Director Sosbe adds most counties compensate their workers not by hourly pay but by election. IF you have someone who didn’t work a whole day it will be difficult to figure out how much the worker should be compensated for. That’s why she made the request that should we go with hourly or per election. Sosbe included it in her budget request and says it’s going to cost them it would increase 13200 total. Meaning moving the poll workers from 12,11,120 an hourr. to 13,12,11 an hour.  Ms. Fambro says they are waiting for a budget approval but they shouldn’t keep talking about it. She then asks Adam to add it back when it’s approved and to note it somewhere,

c. New Precincts for 2022 and Tentative Timeline for Potential Changes to Polling Places:  Adam says he believes they should consider moving the mall location away from the mall to the cooperative extension center. He says he has mentioned it before but people with mobility issues have a lot of trouble with the long-distance into the location and the directional to get there are very poor. Director Sosbe then comes in and says the mall isn’t within the boundaries of the particular precinct it’s outside of it. The co section allows you to go outside of the precinct where you can prove that there aren’t any locations available within those boundaries. The law also says that if you consider a place outside the boundaries you can either fix the lines (where that location is included inside the boundaries) or prove you can’t find anything inside the boundaries. Sosbe says they should be fine except they should see if there are any more locations so that part of the co-section is covered. Rocky says he is confused asks what precinct number in the mall (6b) So then he asks if the mall outside of the lines of 6b. Adam says Yes. Rocky then continues and says the Cooperative Extension is a new building therefore it wasn’t in the lines of 6b or is it He thinks it will be a good opportunity. Sosbe agrees and says the way the line is drawn there would-be voters that live in that voting precinct who would not be able to go to it. So it might be some confusion because you have voters, not in the precinct coming to the precinct to vote. On the other hand, you have voters living in the precinct boundaries going over to Cleveland Elementary to vote. Rocky asks next time could she provide a map because it’s too much for him to visualize. Adam says he says he has found a map and he is now pulling up a Google Maps link to answer the question is the extension in 6ft? Sosbe says it sounds good.  Hunaid ask did they receive any complaints about confusion? Rocky said he talked to the manager after experiencing the trouble himself but not sure if they had any complaints. Sosbe said there weren’t many but when the board members have trouble that’s enough. Rocky says the Athens Clarke county commissioner supports that change. By now Adam put the link in the chat. Then he says all lines are subject to change and changing precincts, for now, that’s getting ahead of themselves. Ms. Fambro says she gets it because a lot of elderly people frequent the mall. Then everyone begins to rumble on where exactly it is. Ms. Fambro asks Rocky if he wants to vote on it now or wait until they get more info. Rocky then says let’s drop this until the next meeting and be more informed and discuss 6b in March. Hunaid seconds it. Adam interrupts and is concern that he’s misunderstanding the agenda item as it was written however he loves the discussion about 6b but was curious to get kind of a timeline about potential changes for precincts meaning let’s think of the absolute latest changes that could be made for 2022 and go from there. Very concerned about letting the item go until they have a tentative timeline. Ms. Fambro asks Rocky what his take was on that. Rocky said he had no opinion but he would like to be more informed on 6b. Ms. Fambro says what Adam is talking about something totally different. Sosbe now has come in and says to Adam she can create a timeline that leads them to the May 2022 election explaining when’s the last time they can make changes when voters need to receive their notifications when they will post the signs out etc. Adam likes the sound of that and is satisfied. Everyone is in favor to move right along,

D. Time Limits on Agenda Items: Adam says it’s unnecessary and they should let it go and makes a motion to remove it. Rocky seconds it. Everyone agrees.

E. NEW BUISNESS:

1. Discussion of Voter Education and Voter Education Innovative:  Mr. Hunaid asks everyone their definition of voter education. There will be some funds in the budget for voter education and he wants to know how the money will be spent. Ms. Fambro says voter education will be to help with all of the situations where voters may have made mistakes on their ballots /mail-in ballots where they were discounted (signatures). She says that we need to make the public more aware of this amongst other things. Also, another example reiterating times on ballot boxes. To sum it up to make sure people are able to vote and to make sure it counted. So then Ms. Teal says she wants to add things to do and things not to do as well. Ms. Fambro says there also needs to be more education on mail-in (like the circles). People need to be really careful about how they mark in. There are plenty more things that can be added. Hunaid adds there is a lot of things like precinct changes etc. looking back at the past election the major area that he feels strongly about is gaining voter trust back. Hunaid says voter education to him is teaching everyone (those who are interested) how the process works. 78000 registered voters 5000 inactive (starts mentioning voting stats). When the election is certified he wants to have a mechanism on the board of election website. Hunaid then adds maybe in the future possible hosting seminars, Lots of people lost faith based on hearsay and justifying what to believe in. Based on how much money is budgeting I would like to spend money on voter education and the process. That was why he posted the question what was everyone else’s idea.  In January I asked was there a brief process or pamphlet on how it works. Hunaid went together and put together a brief timeline. Ms. Fambro thanks him and totally understand what he is saying. In summary, he just wants people to understand the ballot process. Adam then comes in and says he wants to make sure all votes are accounted for. He wants to inform voters on why they should vote all the way down the ballot. What place could the BOE play in having a very basic voter guide explaining every position? Sosbe says she foresees mini videos that explain where they understand it (maybe with some 5th graders). It’s up to them to make sure they trust the system. If it means getting with the Pio officer and changing the format of our website (that’s hard) but are willing to do what they can to educate voters. Fambro asks can they remove from the agenda and discuss it later when they get budget approval. Everyone agrees and says I after the motion.

Discussion or Request for printed by-laws Orientation Manuel’s and required any Manuel’s or Handbooks: Ms. Fambro wanted this put on the agenda. She knows the by-laws and orientation manual wants to know if they can be mailed out or picked up at the office. She has 72-year-old eyes she wants to study but not look at the computer that long. Sosbe replies yes mam and she will print copies of the draft. The by-laws will be inserted in the orientation manual and inside will be a section about the orientation which is done by human resources. Handbooks they are still trying to get from the secretary of state office and they aren’t ready. There is a lot of revisions on co-sections and looking at the general assemble there will be a lot of changes. As the documents come in Sosbe will send them to Fambro.  

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