Clayton County, GA elections workers with ballot boxes, Nov. 6, 2020 (C) Robin Kemp, claytoncrescent.org

by Robin Kemp

UPDATES with sheriff’s race totals

The Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration has certified the results of the November 3, 2020 Presidential election.

The Board certified the results via Zoom but did not read them out loud.

The results adopted were printed on the county’s Election Summary Report, or ESR. The ESR for November 3, 2020 was not on the county elections website as of 3:20 p.m. The Clayton Crescent obtained a printout from the Elections and Registration Office after the meeting and the numbers were posted shortly thereafter.

In the sheriff’s race, incumbent Victor Hill had 94,931 votes or 98.1% to write-in candidate Dwayne Fabian’s 1,212 votes or 1.25%.

During the public comment period, Della Ashley, a volunteer poll worker, said some polling places did not post the complete list of write-in candidates.

Board Chair Carol Wesley said Ashley’s comments were questions, not comments, and were more properly addressed during the regular meeting and that the purpose of the special called meeting was to certify the election results.

The regular meeting, which immediately followed the special called meeting, involved approving the minutes of the Oct. 26 special called meeting. No public comment was submitted for the regular meeting.

Clayton County Elections Supervisor Shauna Dozier

Dozier said she had no old business. Pullar said, “Shauna, Shauna, yes you do, you were on CNN!” She praised Dozier’s composure during the national interview, adding, “She did a fantastic job in terms of representing Clayton County.”

Dozier commended the elections team for getting the job done.

Early voting for the House District 5 runoff began today, Dozier said. The ballot proofs for the Dec. 1 state and local (Public Service Commissioner) runoffs came in today, as well. The last possible start date is Nov. 23 to start early voting, but Dozier said the

“We’re going to be conducting two elections on Dec. 1, on the same day but separately,” Dozier said. In addition, a third election will take place on Jan. 5. Voters can now use the online portal for January 5 absentee ballot requests.

On Tuesday, the office will conduct an election audit.

Dozier said voters really need to make clear for which elections they are requesting absentee ballots.

She said the state awarded Clayton County three ballot boxes at no expense.

In addition, she said, a vendor from the Secretary of State was mailing out absentee ballots, but that the state notified the county that arrangement ended Nov. 15. The county then resumed mailing out absentee ballots.

204,111 registered

193,857 active

10, 254 inactive

The deadline to register to vote in the January runoff is December 7.

Dozier announced the county Elections Office has been awarded a $3,060197 grant for planning, elections, and securing elections.

Another grant of $866,994 was awarded by the USC Schwarzenneger Institute for State and Local Policy, largely due to opening additional voting sites. “We did have an opportunity to speak to Mr. Schwarzenneger personally via Zoom,” Dozer said, adding that he wanted to speak with the elections administrators personally and thank them for their hard work.

Forest Park has not yet been added as an advance voting for House District 5, but Dozier said she would look into it.

“I know some of the elected officials from Forest Park wanted to know whether you could,” Pullar said.

Starting on Nov. 13, Dozier said, additional sites would come online after the main office opened. “As the other runoffs unfold, we will add additional locations” plus extended hours, Dozier said.

As for the January 5 runoff, Dozier recommended Saturday voting on December 19. The board voted to open the polls from 9 a.m. to 4 pm. that day.

Diane Givens asked how staffing was.

Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration Zoom meeting, Nov. 9, 2020.

“We are making sure that we stay extremely organized and keeping each election separated,” Dozier said, with color-coordination and separate bins.

“The staff has been very supportive and looking at multiple ways on how we can just coordinate and reorganize the multiple layers of elections,” Dozier said.

“We are still interviewing because there are times where seasonal or temporary staff may get other jobs so we’re always recruiting,” she said, adding the office also kept a list and rotated staff. In terms of volunteers, Dozier said the office does provide training for those it recruits and hires.

Darlene Johnson and Dozier noted the office is fully staffed at this time.

Pullar said it’s likely the first day of the upcoming election will also see long lines. “When Rhodenizer opened up, we only had three intake people and there should have been five, and the same thing at Morrow,” she said. “We understand that the server was slow the first couple of days, but we were not fully manned.”

Pullar said she was there from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and wanted to know what the process was to send in reinforcements when one or two staff were no-shows at a polling place.

“The manager notifies us,” Dozier said.

Pullar said the manager told her one of her people had been pulled to go to another location. She added that State Senators Gail Davenport and Sandra Scott “both reached out and we did not get that person in that location, so what is that process?” She added that Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory also had been there and that she had gotten many texts and calls about the wait, which was about eight hours.

“The first day is just going to be problematic,” said Dorothy Foster-Hall

Hall also said that some staff may have been unable to show up. “I just want to commend all the staff there, and I hope you continue to monitor your stress levels and your health…because if you don’t take care of yourself none of this can happen.”

Wesley asked what emergency procedures were in place in case staff called in sick or were late.

“We have about 200 alternates that Scott Brown trains who are ready to go if someone does not show up,” Dozier said. “We have them staged at our office, ready to deploy out to any of the polling sites.” The poll managers have to call in to the office before opening and let them know of any emergencies.

The board voted to appoint Diane Givens as primary for the 5th Congression District runoff vote review panel and Darlene Johnson for the vote review panel for the Public Service Commission runoff.

Both elections will be held on December 1.

104 deceased voters were removed from the rolls.

Dozier suggested holding the next special called meeting for certification purposes on December 8, which is the date of the next regularly scheduled board meeting. The next meeting will take place at 4 p.m.

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