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Dekalb Board of Elections Meeting 5/28/2024


Karli Swift (Chair, At Large) 

Vasu Abhiraman (D, Vice chair) 

Anthony Lewis (R) 

Nancy Jester (R) 

Susan Motter (D) 


Jester moves to amend agenda to include Item 5B to discuss polling place changes. Passes 5 – 0 


Passes 5 – 0 


Gail Lee, poll watcher: Said poll workers were competent and she didn’t see signs of cheating. Suggested Early Voting period be shortened to save money. 

Bill Henderson says SOS is not moving people to inactive status, despite §21-2-234 and that people having over 10 years of no contact with DeKalb elections are still on the rolls.  He says SOS will not respond to his complaints. 

Brent Reynolds said that he has been voting as a blind person in DeKalb for years. It’s never been a good experience, but the recent election was the worst. Poll workers, while trying to be helpful, had to send him to Memorial Drive because the audio at Dunwoody  Library was not sufficient on the adaptive device. 

Robert Bryan said he assisted Mr. Reynolds and another blind voter. He felt the problem was that the audio file for the ballot had not been programmed onto the voter card. 

Elizabeth Shackleford, poll worker and poll watcher, urged BRE to certify the May election. She said small problems with elections do not amount to conspiracies to cheat. 

Nancy Arnold wondered why candidates could not get voting results 4 days after the election, since the Dominion equipment had been sold on the promise of swift results.  Arnold commended Director Swift on her diligence. 

Chair Swift assures Mr. Reynolds they will follow up with his concerns about accessible voting.


Director K Smith’s post-election report restated items in the attachment that follows regarding total votes, numbers of rejected ballots, etc.  

Jester questioned the summary on page 18 of info packet which shows 94,317 total voters and 185,536 total ballots. Smith responded that the number of “ballots” is really the number of “scanned ballot pages” and that ballots varied in the number of pages. 

Smith also assured Ms. Jester that there had been no changes to ballots or other programming after LAT. (p. 14 shows the number of Poll Pads, Touchscreens, and  Scanners tested in LAT but does not mention EMS units) 

Lewis asked for details about rejected provisional and other ballots, and Smith said she would supply these to him later. She also explained that several candidates ran in districts spanning more than one county, hence their qualifying for the runoff despite not being the top vote getter in DeKalb.  

Motter requested that, in the future, post-election reports contain footnotes to explain apparent discrepancies between numbers of ballots and numbers of voters, between ballots issued and ballots received, and similar.  

Staff member Jay Catherwood explained that absentee ballots are sometimes returned without all the sheets of paper, or a ballot may contain different amounts of paper depending on which party primary a voter chose, and the scanner can’t know the difference. The county determines the number of ballots (as opposed to sheets of paper) based on the number of Absentee envelopes they open.  

Motter suggests tracking Absentee ballots that are missing signatures, to help with voter education. She remarks that mailing ballots to or from the county is problematic, due to mail delays.  

Abhiraman seeks clarification about whether the 56 cured mail ballots were a subset of the 125 rejected mail ballots and is told that they are. 

Motter moves to certify the May 21 election.  

Passes 5 – 0  


Page 58 of packet and NOTICE OF PROPOSED POLLING PLACE CHANGES Smith explains that, in addition to the 4 polling places that were relocated for the May  General/ Primary, 2 more polling places will be relocated for the Runoff due to construction. The new, temporary locations: 

• _Chesnut Elem precinct (CH) moves from Chesnut Elementary School to Crossroads  Church of Dunwoody, 4805 Tilly Mill Rd, Doraville, GA 30360.  

• _Fairington Elem precinct (FA) moves from Fairington Elementary School to New Birth  Missionary Baptist Church, 6400 Woodrow Rd, Stonecrest, GA 30038.  

These will return to their original locations for the November General Election. 

Swift requests that, in the future, maps showing new and old locations, numbers of affected voters, and plans for signage about the relocation, should all be supplied to the  BRE. Swift requests that letters, which include maps, be sent to affected voters for the  November election. 

Motter clarifies that these two changes are in addition to 4 polling place changes initiated or the PPP in March. She says any news stories should mention that there are six polling place changes, in total. 

Director Smith agrees to distribute a one-page flyer about polling place locations along with maps for the website. 

Jester moves to approve all polling place locations for the June runoff. Passes 5 – 0 

1:55 – 2:10pm 

Board recesses to sign certification documents. 



Smith says registration numbers in DeKalb are over 580,000, and she anticipates over  50,000 voters in the June Runoff, November General, and December Runoff. She says they hired a moving company to deliver voting equipment the shortly before the election rather than let it sit around in a polling place for days ahead of time, and they will hire a moving company for the November election. She reports that new privacy filters were added to many BMDs for the May 21 election and they expect to have filters on all BMDs for the June  Runoff. 

On Wednesday, jurisdictions will be identified for the Risk Limiting Audit by the SOS. The  RLA will be conducted starting 9am, Thursday May 30 and may last into Friday May 31. 

5 races will advance to the Runoff, and Advance Voting will last 5 days. Smith discussed various dates for poll worker recruitment and training, as well as training for voter registrars. She announced a “banking and budgeting” training offered to poll workers and staff. Smith urges everyone to check to be sure of where to vote and who will be on their ballots. Smith mentions the 6 Advance voting locations for the May 21  election will remain the same. She urged everyone to make a plan to vote. 

Jester would like to see comparisons between current voter registration rates and historical rates. Mentions credit from SOS for postage required for redistricting notices. She asks where the department’s $2 million credit came from, wondering how it will be spent. She wonders if a budget amendment is needed. 

In response to Tony Lewis, Smith says they didn’t recruit as many Election-Night Runners as they had hoped, but the runners did speed up the collection of results. She encourages county employees to sign up to be runners for future elections. (These runners collected CF cards and other items and returned them to county offices so that poll workers could stay and break down all the equipment.) She told him that if someone applies to be a poll worker and doesn’t hear back, they should go to or call the county office and speak to Paul Robinson. They expect higher turnout in November than in recent elections and plan to increase poll worker numbers. They will also pay reserve workers to be trained in case they are needed. Smith remarks that, prior to her arrival, DeKalb  Elections was severely understaffed. Due to the seasonal nature of elections, the county sometimes pays workers overtime rather than add permanent fulltime staff. 


Attorney Momo says HB974, HB 1027, and SB 189, which “…changed some of the voter challenge process and some additional steps and ballot custody process, things of that nature …” have been signed by Gov. Kemp, and she can provide in-depth analysis of these bills to BRE members. 




Staff, volunteer adjudicators, the public, and DCTV are thanked. 

Chair Swift mentions some polling places had low turnout but that it’s important that everyone get a chance to vote. 9. ADJOURN 1:45

*These meeting notes were prepared by a volunteer

These meetings are open to the public by Georgia law.  

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