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Whitfield BOE 8/10/23

Members present: Stephen Kelehear (chair), Carol ByersRegistrar: Shaynee McClure

Old business
a. November election—S. McClure reported they have begun contacting managers and poll
workers. They are down by two managers. She said all precincts will be open and four county-
wide referendums will be on the ballot.

b. NGE and No Contact mailings—McClure reported the NGE notices will go out today. No Contact
notices will be sent out. She noted that if a voter doesn’t reply to a No Contact letter in 30 days,
they will be put in inactive status.
New business

a. Municipal qualifying periods—McClure said cities can choose either three-or-five-day qualifying
periods. Dalton is the only city having a five-day qualifying period. The other three cities holding
elections—Cohutta, Varnell, and Tunnel Hill—will have three-day periods. She gave the dates.

b. New staff person—McClure introduced a new employee who will taking the position held by a
person who is retiring at the end of September. She comes from the elections office in Catoosa
County where McClure worked.

Questions and comments
S. Kelehear said they try to keep up on activities related to election security, and he appreciated the
civility shown by Whitfield County residents in this regard. He said an article he read about the state
board meeting earlier in the week was “concerning.”

A representative of the League of Women Voters had three requests: 1) She said that a software patch is
going out to some “high-volume” counties. She asked if the board could check on getting it for Whitfield. McClure said she was unaware of it but would check.

2) She said because many Whitfield County voters work night and weekend shifts, the LWV would like for the board to consider making extra voting hours and Saturdays available during the advanced voting period. She and another person suggested publicizing advanced voting on bill boards and asking local industries to promote voting. Kelehear and McClure said they look into it.

3) She asked if local referendum info is available to voters. McClure said it is on their website (they have posted copies of the local legislation).
An audience member asked about certifying the machines. McClure said L&A testing will take place
October 3-4 and will be open to the public.

Another audience member said computers are taking over. She asked the board about “removing the
whole system.” She said millions of dollars are wasted on them, and these funds could be used for an
alternative. She went on to say computers do not have souls, and we are on the same path as China. She urged the board to remove the machines. When Kelehear said they cannot do that. She said that was his opinion.

Another audience member added her support to removing the machines, explaining how it could be
done. She said the Hardeman report supported doing this. Kelehear responded they will look into it.
Another audience member said Georgia needs a leader who will remove the machines. She said, if
Whitfield County does this, they (her colleagues and her) will get them the manpower they need.

These meetings are open to the public by Georgia law.  

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