Whitfield County Board of Elections Meeting 05/13/21

Members present: Stephen Kelehear (chair), Carol Byers, Rob Cowan

Registrar: Mary Hammontree

Old business

M. Hammontree reported she presented their goals to the county commission earlier in the week. One goal was related to community involvement, and she noted there is a lot of misinformation.  Several people present told her they want her to present to groups they are a part of. The first to offer an invitation is the local Tea Party affiliate whom she’ll be speaking to in the near future. 

New Business

  1. Administrative position—M. Hammontree said they are working on hiring for a vacant position.
  2. State investigation—Registrar Mary Hammontree said the state investigated a complaint of voter fraud in the January election. They found the person investigated did not vote twice. She hasn’t heard from the investigation they are doing voter fraud during the primaries last year. 
  3. Secretary of State training—She reported they attended a two-hour session on SB 202 she found to be helpful. A video was made of it that she’ll be providing to the board members and others, including some poll workers. 

Discussion

  1. Registrar M. Hammontree said a commissioner told her he would like to see the county commission district boundaries changed. He didn’t give a reason other than the lines aren’t neat looking and he would like for them to form an X shape (there are four districts). Hammontree said this would cause havoc with the polling sites and precinct boundaries. The board members didn’t think a change was needed if it is only for esthetics. 
  2. M. Hammontree said there will be few elections this year: two school board seats, two city council seats, and maybe a mayor. She said it isn’t clear there will be opposition for any of the seats.
  3. She said the cities will have to pay for changes made in SB 202 this year. These include special papers for emergency ballots and overtime for the Saturday early voting dates. She’s gathering information and will let the cities know the estimated costs.
  4. There was a brief discussion about moving the dropbox into the building. The board members all thought this requirement negates the purpose of having them (Whitfield had two, both at the courthouse) and caused by misinformation (ballot box stuffing). Hammontree said it will make it more difficult for some voters, especially the elderly.
  5. M. Hammontree said she plans to prepare a short voting video for the public. It will be available on Facebook and other places.

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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