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Dekalb Board of Elections Meeting 3/18/2024

    Chair Karli Swift – Present
    Vice Chair Vasu Abhiraman – Present
    Nancy Jester – Absent
    Susan Motter – present
    Tony Lewis – present
    Passes 5 – 0
    Approved minutes from 3/7/24 and 3/10/24
    Passes 5 – 0
    (Note that the 3/10 Special Called meeting, for which the public had 3 days notice, lasted
    for 5 hours. The minutes merely note members of the public who spoke.)
    Tommy Travis District 3 candidate: Hold special elections for districts 3 and 7 during the
    May primary. Residents in both 3 and 7 have no representation for things like SPLOST

Eunice White: based on social media, residents of D3 and D7 are suffering from car break-
ins and vagrancy in vacant homes. She usually directs victims to their local commissioners, but now has no one.

Jackie Malcolm: Sec. of State’s office originally told her the special election would be held
5/21/24 but other people have been told otherwise. If a special is held in November and
there is a runoff, South DeKalb may have no BOCC representation until 2025.

Pat Kulp, head of Cedar Grove neighborhood association: DeKalb Elections has not been
clear about the date of the special election, and residents need representation.

Jacqueline Adams, D7 candidate: Hold Special in May so we have representation.

Jocylen O’neill: talks about county services that South DeKalb may miss unless Special is
held in May.

Betsy Swint: If Special isn’t in May, things like raised property taxes and summer youth
activities may be impacted. Investors are trying to buy up homes in the area.

Beverly Dabney, D3: We deserve representation.

Andrew Bell, D3: Fears postponing Special would result in poor turnout. Mentions that
DeKalb had been slow to update their district maps after recent redistricting, and this
impacted his running for office.

Willy Pringle, D3: Has never been well represented on the commission and now his
community is being re-gentrified. God keeps a record.
Gail Lee, D1: Holding Special in May would be challenging, but if it used Hand Marked
Paper Ballots instead of BMDs, the cost would be half. The BMDs are also not secure. Lee
doesn’t think DeKalb’s proposed Scytl ENR service is necessary because it’s already
available on SOS website.

Bill Henderson: Supports District 3 and 7 residents who want special Election in May.
Think rolls need to be cleaned to restore confidence in elections. Says 99% of DeKalb
adults are supposedly registered to vote, which he thinks is highly unlikely.

Beth Ann Frillman: Thanks for offering 18 Early Vote locations for May. Good signage for
closed and relocated polling places is imperative. On Election Day, signs at Early Vote
locations – especially South DeKalb Mall – must redirect voters to their ED polling places.
Many people can’t use QR codes on signage, can’t see small signs.

Judy Grant, area manager of ten precincts: Holding Special in May would cause logistical
problems, because not enough poll workers can get trained and because many polling
places are too small to accommodate 2 “separate and apart” elections. She recruits poll
workers and would expect problems.

Barbara Mobley, head of Tony Valley civic association, D3 and D7 resident: Until
replacement commissioners are elected, the county will not have the representation to
name a park after John Evans, who is 91 years old. Over 700 households in her community
will lack representation.

Nicole Messiah, D3 candidate: Hold Special during the June 18 runoff. Cites 2 and 21-2-
45(b) but thinks it doesn’t apply. Cites the County Organizational Act and says county and
state laws conflict.

Election Summary Report:
DIRECTOR KEISHA SMITH: 11.33% turnout for Presidential Primary, 20% of whom voted
at Memorial Drive. 36 of 48 Absentee Ballots being rejected were cured, and 3 of 5
Provisional votes were cured.

75 Absentee ballots were missing or had an incorrect date of birth; 37 that had missing
signature, or they had an electronic signature; and 13 that were missing ID or had an invalid
(Other numbers about the PPP were discussed but I can’t verify them because they were on
slides instead of in the packet)
For the Presidential Primary, police, firefighters, code enforcement oPicers, marshal’s
oPice, and juvenile court oPicers worked as Election Night “runners,” delivering memory
cards from polling places to the county election oPice. Poll workers were able to stay at
their polling places to break down equipment. This program meant faster processing of
election results.

    A. Certification of the March 12, 2024, Presidential Preference Primary / Special
    Passes 5 – 0
    B. 2024 Advance Voting Locations, Dates, Times, and Managers
    Swift showed a map of Early polling places for 2024 (p. 8 of packet). After discussion,
    board agrees to just approve locations for May 21 and the June runoP. Swift proposed
    Neighborhood Church be added as Early Voting location.
    Abhiraman noted that the number of drop boxes must be reduced if DeKalb registrations
    dip below 500,000 voters. There will not be voting on Mothers’ Day due to low turnout on
    that day in 2022.
    Vote to approve dates and times of voting for 2024 elections (p. 9 of packet)
    Passes 5 – 0
    C. 2024 Election Day Locations and Managers
    Motter noted that public notification about locations appears as a table in the legal organ
    (The Champion) but becomes confusing when the text is extracted for sites like Motter recommends notices be posted in a diPerent format and
    include reasons for polling place relocations.
    Smith: Winona Park relocates to Evergreen Baptist for May Primary.
    Midvale Elementary will relocate to Livsey Elementary for May and for the June RunoP, but
    return to Midvale in November.
    Temporary relocations in the event of a June RunoP but possibly return to original location
    in November will be:
    LaVista (LC) St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church
    Moves to Intown Community Church

North Decatur (NB)North Decatur Presbyterian Church
moves to Holiday Regency House
Scott (SB) North Decatur Presbyterian Church
Moves to Holiday Regency House
Tucker (TH)Tucker First United Methodist Church
moves to Mount Moriah Baptist Church
Abhiraman noted the Midvale relocation is about 2.5 miles away from the original site.
Vote to approve all locations and relocations (p. 10 – 16 of packet)
Passes 5 – 0

Vote to approve all poll managers as listed in printed materials (p. 10 – 16 of packet)
Passes 5 – 0

D. Special Election for County Commissioners for Districts 3 and 7
Swift: Due to state laws, Special must be held on 5/21 or 11/5.
89.5% of DeKalb has one or more representatives on BOCC, despite the vacancies.
Smith: 29 days are required to call a Special Election, or 90 days if it’s held concurrent with
a General Primary. Holding a “separate and apart” election on 5/21 would cost $1.5 million
to rent equipment, require more LAT, separate ballots, and renting more warehouse space.
There are no existing trained and experienced staff in the pipeline to supervise the extra
polling places. DeKalb would also have to hire 400 more poll workers and more oPice staP.
Early Voting poll workers must commit to three weeks of work. Some polling places are too
small for all the big voting machines, and some polling places don’t have enough electrical
outlets to power them – therefore, some Special polling places might have to be located far
from regular polling places.

Holding two elections at once would require voters to check in and vote twice and would
cause confusion by voters.

Abhiraman, a former poll worker, moved to approve scheduling the Special Election on
November 5, which would not require a “separate and apart” election setup. Notes that
using inexperienced staP increases chances of errors. Having done recruitment for poll
workers in numerous counties, he sees a May Special as a “near impossibility.”
Jester feared a May election would be a failure. Those who object to this should tell state
legislatures to change the law.

Swift: Said that a shortage of poll workers, not funds, is the deciding issue.
Vote to hold Special Election in November
Passes 5 – 0

E. Recess to sign Certification Resolution 2pm
Reconvene 2:25

F. Purchases
Director Smith proposed adding Amharic (Ethiopian) to existing Spanish and Korean voting
materials in 2024. Board discusses where additional language materials and translation
materials will be oPered, and what the $90,000 cost would cover. Board discussed whether
Chinese, Bengali, French, and Vietnamese will be oPered in 2025. (P. 26 and 27 of packet)
Abhiraman noted that BOCC already allocated $400K to meet the legal requirement to
translate ballots into Spanish, but that is not the issue under discussion.
Jester felt the proposal wasn’t clear so wouldn’t support at this time.
Lewis not comfortable with which groups are or aren’t receiving materials, so wouldn’t
support at this time.
Vote to approve funds for translations.
Passes 3 – 2

F1. SCYTL ENR (p. 28 – 38 in packet)
Director Smith: Scytl oPers $26K for graphs and maps for an Election Night Reporting
(ENR) system to show precinct-level results on the DeKalb website. Viewable on mobile
devices. Shows results of municipal elections which aren’t on the SOS site. Everything else
they oPer is viewable on the SOS site. Currently used by Gwinnett County. Expense would
need to be approved now to be used in General Election in May.
F2. SCYTL Online training (p. 39 – 53 in packet)
Swift: Felt online training would be beneficial and a priority over ENR capability, which can
be deferred.
Smith: If DeKalb purchases this, it will take 3 – 6 months to make it available to poll
Jester: Didn’t feel she has enough information.

Voted to pay for Scytl online training.
Passes 3 – 2
Motion to defer consideration of Scytl ENR
Passes 5 – 0

    A. Director Smith’s Report (p. 54 – 59 of packet)
    Smith: reviews placeholder budget. City of Atlanta DeKalb voters will vote to fill City
    Council Post 3 on the November ballot.
    B. Contract Signing Authority || Executive Director
    Chair Swift deferred discussion on contract signing.
    C. Legislative Update
    Atty Momo: Numerous voting bills did not pass over, though new voting issues may appear
    in existing bills. Last day of session is March 28.
    Thanks were given to county attorneys and to staP who helped recruit poll workers and
    helped to qualify candidates, and to “runners” who delivered memory cards to election
    oPices for the Presidential Primary. The November 5 election will include Board of
    Commissioner races on the regular ballot, and it will not be a “separate and apart”
    election. This is because 11/5 is more than 90 days away.

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