Governments of Floyd County and City of Rome, GA


Minutes - November 12, 2018

Minutes Regular Meeting
November 12, 2018

Board Members Present:
Steve Miller, Chairman
Mardi Haynes-Jackson, Member

Dr. Tom Rees, Member

Incoming Members Present:
John Scott Husser Jr
Melanie Conrad

Vanessa Waddell
Donna Maldanado

Chairman Mr. Miller called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m.

#1- Approval of Agenda

Motion Yeas Nays Absent
A Motion was made by Mardi Haynes Jackson, Seconded by Steve Miller Miller

Chairman Miller welcomed visitors and asked if anyone present wished to speak.
A question was asked as to how many provisional ballots were submitted for the November 6, 2018 election and of those how many were counted?
Chairman Miller responded there were 173 Provisional ballots cast and of those 116 were counted. The ballots that were not counted were primarily due to the voter being out of precinct (county) and 1 felon attempted to vote, and that ballot was not counted.
The question was then asked, “How many absentee ballots were cast?”
Ms. Waddell responded there were 1,268 ballots received and of those, 4 were not counted, a total of 1,264 absentee ballots were ran, she stated the November 6, 2018 election was certified on Friday, November 9, 2018.

Being no further questions from the visitors present, Chairman Miller closed the public comments.

#2- Approval Regular Meeting Minutes
Mr. Miller asked if all had read the October 8, 2018 minutes, and asked for a motion to approve. Ms. Jackson asked to table approval until a majority was present, and Chairman Miller stated there was a majority and asked if there were any corrections noted. Ms. Jackson pointed out a few typo’s and Ms. Waddell noted an incorrect first name for Ms. Cochran who spoke at the October 8, 2018 meeting. Chairman Miller made a motion to approve the minutes as amended, and Ms. Jackson seconded. Motion carried.

Motion #04162018_2 Yeas Nays Absent
A Motion was made by Mr. Miller and seconded by Mrs. Haynes-Jackson to approve the minutes as amended. Miller

#3 – Secretary of State Communications:
a.) Chairman Miller stated there were 2 communications from the SoS office, which had been forwarded to the Board members. He then asked if the communication regarding the 5-collumn report, received from John Hallman had been completed. Ms. Waddell stated it had been completed on Friday November 9, 2018.
b.) He then asked if the communication from Melanie Franchette regarding ENR site and how to access as well as certifying the election had been completed and Ms. Waddell stated that both matters were completed on Friday, November 9, 2018.
c.) Ms. Waddell stated Chris Harvey sent a memo regarding including any “certified write-ins” with our certification, which is due tomorrow, November 13, 2018.

#4 - Financial Review:
a.) Chairman Miller stated he has not received the latest financial report and will move this item to the agenda of the December 2018 meeting. He then stated he had submitted a transfer of funds to cover a billing from Office Depot for supplies used in the November election.
b.) Chairman Miller noted the budget for 2018 did not include enough funds to cover the December 4, 2018 runoff election or the December 18, 2018 special election and would be meeting with the County Manager to determine how to fund these unforeseen expenses.

#5 – Review of the November 6, 20018 Election:
a.) Chairman Miller asked if there were any issues with the election. Ms. Waddell stated we had to change out the card reader at GL Baptist Church, but by the time Chairman Miller delivered the new card reader, the manager had gotten it up and running again.
b.) Ms. Jackson then ask if there were any equipment issues on Election Day. Ms. Maldanado stated that there were 2 issues with DRE’s. The first at Lovejoy Baptist Church where the DRE would not print a zero report when it was opened. The other was at Mt. Alto South precinct, where the DRE would only show one-half of the screen. However, Ms. Waddell stated the technician from ES&S, Gerrick, was here and programmed and delivered two DRE’s to replace the inoperable ones.
c.) Ms. Jackson stated she had visited the Chulio precinct and they had reported one DRE took some-time to boot up, but once it did there were not any issues with it. She further stated that based on the high-turnout, which we were not expecting, the equipment held up very well.
d.) Ms. Waddell stated one of the poll-workers at the Town Rome precinct incorrectly set the time on the Express-Poll to 7:00 AM, (when the polls were to open) instead of the actual time and opened the polls, which caused the number of ballots cast to be different on the DRE and Express Polls. This matter corrected itself and the number matched at the closing of the polls and did not record any incorrect numbers of ballots cast. Ms. Jackson recommended that this matter be addressed in the next poll-worker’s training, to emphasize the time that they are set on the Express Poll is the actual time which will be before the polls actually open.
e.) Chairman Miller reported that when he visited the North Carolina precinct one poll-worker was having an issue with the Express-Poll, in that when she moved it, it would disconnect. He showed her the cause, which was she was picking it up from the screen and not the base. This matter has been covered in every training session we have had, but apparently needs to be emphasized even more in future training.
f.) Ms. Waddell stated several calls and people walking into the elections office to vote who thought the Administration Building was their precinct. She reminded them the Administration Building is only used for advanced voting and redirected those people to their proper precinct.
g.) Ms. Maldanado stated there was a misunderstanding with the voter not realizing that when they received the cards/mailings from 3rd party organizations, they were requesting an absentee ballot. Once the office received those cards, they sent the voter an absentee ballot. The voter then went to their precinct to vote on Election Day and stated they did not request an absentee ballot. The Poll Manager then had to have the voter sign an affidavit to cancel the absentee ballot and allowed them to vote on the DRE machine. She further sated the thought “most people” didn’t realize when the filled out the card, they were requesting that a ballot be mailed to them.
h.) Ms. Waddell stated we had an “excessive” number of Provisional Ballots in this election. Many were due to college students being registered in their “home county.”
i.) Ms. Jackson noted that on Election Day there was a lot of walk-in traffic asking about where to vote. She went on to recommend that a lap-top computer, with WiFi be place on the counter in the elections office so the voter could log onto the MVP to see where they are registered to vote. This recommendation was made to reduce the amount of hand-on service needed from the staff during the busiest of times.
j.) Ms. Maldanado stated that there were numerous complaints regarding the poll-watchers being “over their shoulders” demanding copies of numbered lists, and final DRE tapes. Further Chairman Miller reiterated the poll-watchers are to do just that, “watch” and anything other than that should be reported to the office so that the elections office can address the matter with the person individually or organization who provided the poll-watcher, and reminded staff that the poll-manager has the authority to remove a poll-watcher who is not abiding by the rules. Since the poll-watchers were troublesome to the precinct managers during this elections, Chairman Miller recommended that in the future the new Board include a copy of the State Statute to be given to the poll-watchers at the time they pick up their name badge.
k.) There was an issue with the GEMS Server. Gerrick was attempting to download to the State and the server would not connect to the State site. This was resolved by coping the data to a flash-drive and then uploaded from the computer on Ms. Waddell’s desk. Appears to be a weak connection with WiFi in the GEMS Server room, however Ms. Waddell thought it was more of a “password issue” and not caused by a WiFi connection. Ms. Jackson recommended a trial run be conducted to make sure we are able to access the ENR site before any future election.
l.) Chairman Miller stated we replaced a “couple of dozen” poll-workers and Ms. Maldanado stated we added an additional 9 poll-worker due to heavier than expected volume during early-voting and on Election Day.
m.) Chairman Miller reported he had received and responded to several Open Record Requests in the time-frame specified by law.
n.) Ms. Waddell stated the copier had been repaired.

#6 - Old Business:
a.) Facility fee request from GL Baptist Church. Ms. Maldanado stated she had been in contact with Bernice Swan and they were going to look at their electrical bills and determine what amount would be fair and submit an invoice for payment. Chairman Miller stated he had spoken with their office and the Pastor was unaware that they had requested payment and it was not his intent to charge for the use of the building. Ms. Maldanado stated that apparently Mr. Green, while serving as the Chief Clerk, had offered to get them compensation for the use for the building, and this is where the confusion came in.

b.) A survey request was received for election information. It is the position of the Board that the survey should be completed by the “Board” and not one individual. We will look into completing this as soon as possible after the anticipated runoff election.

#7 - New Business:
a.) Chairman Miller reported that Representative Christian Coomer resigned his position on October 31st. 2018, and based on conversations with Chris Harvey, it appears we will need to conduct a “Special Election” which will impact 5-precincts in Floyd County, on December 18, 2018, however this is yet to be confirmed.

b.) The Board set a tentative new member transition meeting date of December 14, 2018 at 12:00 PM pending confirmation from Ms. Conrad, however Mr. Husser stated she is good with Fridays.

c.) Ms. Maldanado asked the Board if they could use students as interns in the office to assist with filing and other small duties. Chairman Miller questioned the confidentiality of the information in the office and how that would be assured. Ms. Maldanado stated they would be sworn in before performing any duties assigned, and Chairman Miller reminded her that only those students over the age of 18 could be sworn in. The Board felt as though that would be a welcomed service and instructed her to respond to those who made the request that we would welcome their assistance.

Chairman Miller then closed the public meeting and asked all except Board members to leave the meeting, so the Board can enter into Executive Session to discuss personnel matters, which are not open to the public.

Next meeting date is December 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:35 PM

Respectfully submitted;

Steve Miller, Chairman