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Cherokee County Discusses Hand Counting votes and election allegations 3/14/2022

Meeting called to order at 9:35 AM

Present:  Alan Shinall, Chairman, Cindy Castello (R), Donald Sams (D), Rachel Kinsey (D), Mike Byrd (R), Anne Dover, Supervisor; Anne Brombaugh, Attorney for the Board

Approximately 30 observers including myself

The Sheriff for Cherokee County was introduced to answer questions from the attendees.  The first question focused on whether there are cameras at the drop boxes and if the tapes are available to voters to review. The Sheriff responded that there are NO cameras and that the Sheriff’s department has no involvement in the elections.  There are often officers present from the various departments at the polling places to protect the staff, volunteers, and voters on site. To his knowledge, there are no cameras present.

The Chari of the Board stated that the Board wants to have fair and legitimate elections in Cherokee County.

The Secretary of the Board, Rachel Kinsey, read aloud the Code of Conduct for Public Meetings.

Approval of the Agenda

Approval of the minutes from the February 7, 2022 meeting

Unfinished Business – There was none

New BusinessAnne Brombaugh, attorney, addressed several issues that were raised at the previous meeting.  There was a request to do a hand count of the ballots after each election. She pointed out that the State is the only body that can direct us to do a hand count and this has not been a directive of the State.  Thus, the County Board of Elections does not have the authority to order a hand count of ballots.

There were several allegations made that there were 50 felonies referred to the State relating to the last election but were not followed up.  These included that there were several local businesses called by staff or members of the Board inquiring about voting in 2020. This was not true.  The allegation of such a claim is in itself a felony that is prohibited by the State as a form of intimidation of voters.

A second allegation was made that non-residents had voted in the last election.  Attorney Brombaugh reviewed the rules for voting in which a person is allowed to vote in circumstances where they are not currently residing in the county.  These included members of the military currently stationed outside of the county, students on campuses elsewhere, and individuals such as herself who may have two addresses where one of the addresses is the permanent residence but time may be spent in the secondary location for temporary reasons. What is clear is that an individual may vote in only one place.

There are specific rules relating to an individual who moves in the time prior to an election that is after the time when new registration can be processed in the new location. Then the individual may vote in their previous location.

Anne Dover, the Supervisor,  was called upon to address an additional question and to give her report.  The authority under which the Board is able to make certain changes in the election process is limited to those elections which are solely a stand-alone local election in the county. If there are any measures on the ballot relating to state or federal issues, the rules are established by the State and not subject to changes made at the county level.

The State will be refunding tot the Board and County an amount of $2.6 M.  There are concerns about Voter Safety that are being addressed by the staff and Board.  The plan will be in place for the next election to have security police on site and that all poll workers will review the Code of Conduct that indicates that a worker may not have a personal agenda or viewpoint expressed while on duty or on-site.  There have been 16 Open Records requests that are being addressed by the Supervisor and her staff. 

Finally, the next three meetings of the Board will take place at the Bluff’s where the County Commissioners meet – April, May, and June – due to the larger attendance at the meetings.

Public Comments

There were 5 presentations of 3 minutes each by a group representing the Constitution Party.  The issues addressed by the speakers were:

  1. There is an Oath of Office for the Board of Elections that was read
  2. There are more new voters listed than the number of people becoming eligible to vote in the precinct based on moving into the precinct and becoming age-appropriate.
  3. The County lacks the ability to monitor voter rolls – the lack of credits – the number of proper votes – is not consistent.  There are more votes recorded in precincts than there are actual voters on the rolls.  The numbers of discrepancies are 683 in Carmel Precinct, 300 ca in the second precinct, and 118 in a third. This is based on the group’s research.
  4. The review analysis indicates that the integrity has been breached. An affidavit has been sent to the Secretary of State without a response.
  5. There are many anomalies.  There are voters from November 2020 who were made inactive on Nov 2 who had not voted in years. Some had records that indicated they were born in 1900. One had registered in the 1940s and never voted. They blamed the Secretary of State
  6. The question was raised as to whether the authority of the Board has been taken over by the State.
  7. The machines (Dominion) are open to hacking
  8. There is a clear need to have the paper ballots hand-counted
  9. Why do we need an outside voter registration system like and/or MTX both of which are tied to Stacy Abrams
  10. There are backlogs, accusers, and fraudsters involved in the election process.
  11. Why do the Ballot Boxes have to be so big? Why is Cherokee County responsible for paying $40 M? Why do we need a 20 year bond for a system that is guaranteed for only 10 Years.

There was no response from any member of the Board or staff to these comments. 

The meeting adjourned to an Executive Session to address a number of personnel issues.

*These meeting notes were typed and prepared by a volunteer of New Georgia Project’s Peanut Gallery

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