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Whitfield County Board of Elections 9/14/23

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

Old business
S. McClure reported that on Sept 5, the board addressed an error in four local bills—HB 753, HB 754, HB 787, and HB 789—that had an incorrect election date. The bills’ questions will appear on the general election ballot.

November election—McClure reported: they are proofing ballots before sending them to the printers; they are in good shape with staffing, having only 3 poll worker vacancies; and logic and accuracy testing of the voting machines will take place Oct 3, starting at 9:00. It will be open to the public.

New business
McClure reported that in addition to NGE (338 did not respond) and No Contact (over 500 did not respond) notices, the state is requiring two additional sets of notices. The ERIC system notices in which voter address changes show they may have moved out of state were mailed Sept 11. If the voters do not respond, they will be canceled.

NCOA (National Change of Address) notices to voters who have changed addresses in county or have moved out of county will be sent out. These voters will have an opportunity to change their addresses. S. Kellehear said these are efforts to update their voting rolls.

McClure announced the dates for early voting, Saturday voting, and extended hours. This information is on their website.

Audience comments
Although not on the agenda, an audience member asked to speak. The board agreed to listen to comments. She had two points: 1. She attended a demonstration of paper ballots. She said although it took more people and time, the results were “100% accurate.” She offered to send the board a link to video highlights. McClure agreed to look at it. 2. She said one county will do hand counts of all races. Kellehear responded, they have no evidence of a problem and will not be doing hand counts at this time.

Another person asked if an audit can be done where random machines are checked. McClure said there is an audit process.

Another person pointed out they have found no incidents of fraudulent voting. They had one incident of suspected fraud, but it was a case where twins with the same first name were registered.
An audience member said malware could be installed in the machines and the L&A testing could miss it.

There was a discussion about how time-consuming counting individual ballots becomes because several people have to review questionable ballots. Kellehear said they would have to determine what the voter intended, as they do with absentee ballots.

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