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Douglas County Board of Elections 12/14/23

Members present: Myesha Good (chair), Maurice Hurry (vice-chair), Chad Word, Kevin Evans 

Director: Milton Kidd

Felon hearings—M. Kidd said they are waiting for a report from the SOS office. There were no hearings.

Office operations

  • Staff gave a report on the runoff election for mayor of Villa Rica. The Douglas County precincts had a nine percent participation rate.
  • Absentee processing report—A handout outlining the process for handling absentee ballots was provided and reviewed by a staff person. It included sections on the application and application cure affidavits, mailing/issuing absentee ballots, processing returned absentee ballots, reasons for rejection of absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots, and absentee ballot applications received through the GARVIS portal.

C. Word asked if this information came from the SOS’s office. Kidd said the procedures staff had reviewed with them are based on guidance from the SOS.

  • Redistricting report—Staff reviewed a handout on the role GIS plays in generating precinct, commissioner district, state district, and congressional district demographic information for all addresses in the county. They can check the data with existing data in GARVIS. He said GIS can organize streets into combos (school, county, state district by address point) that determines the ballot each voter receives. This info is printed on the ballots. 

Kidd noted this technology expedited the process for designing ballots by address.  Responding to a question from Word, he added they are awaiting a decision from a federal judge on the maps revised by the General Assembly.

K. Evans asked if there are alternatives to sending paper precinct cards in the mail. Kidd said that at this time there are no alternatives. When Word mentioned going online, Evans said many senior citizens do not have computers or smartphones and no access the MyVoter page. If a paper precinct card gets lost in the mail, this can cause problems. Kidd said his office will be doing outreach and education in the upcoming year to inform voters about the changes that will take place. 

Old business

  • Code of Conduct review with counsel—A county attorney said they took comments on an earlier draft. She asked for additional comments that they will use to review and update the draft. She expected it to be completed in ten days.

The board voted to table this discussion until January.

  • Letters concerning Vital Records—To review the process for handling deceased voters, the board had requested letters regarding death certificate information. Staff prepared draft letters to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the probate court, and the Georgia State Elections Division. The letters stated the board had found deceased voters on the rolls. They asked to meet with the appropriate persons to discuss the problem and identify next steps. 

The board voted to table discussion of the letters until January in order to provide time to review them.

New business

Consultation with external counsel. 

The board voted to go into executive session to discuss legal matters. At the end of the session, they voted to table further discussion of the judicial matter they reviewed until January.

Director’s concerns

Kidd said this is a new item that will be added to the standing agenda. He said he has asked legal counsel to review all aspects of state and federal elections law that will affect them, as they prepare for the 2024 elections. The review will be completed in two weeks. 

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