Copyright 2021 by Forsyth County, Georgia

Forsyth County Meetings

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021 9:00 AM

Board of Voter Registrations and Elections - Regular Meeting

Voter Registration & Elections 1201 Sawnee Drive Cumming, GA 30040
Documents

PUBLIC NOTICE

The Forsyth County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections will hold their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 9 a.m. in the Voter Registrations and Elections Office, 1201 Sawnee Drive, Cumming, Georgia 30040.

The purpose of the meeting will be for discussion and consideration of the items as outlined on the agenda and such other business as may properly come before the Board.  All interested persons are encouraged to attend.

Forsyth County is committed to providing all persons with equal access to its services, programs, activities, education and employment regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability or age. Persons with special needs relating to handicapped accessibility or foreign language may contact the Title VI Coordinator at 770-781-2101 a minimum of 48 hours prior to the meeting date/time. The Title VI Coordinator is located at 110 East Main Street, Suite 255, Cumming, Georgia between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday, except holidays. Persons with hearing disabilities can contact us using the Georgia Relay Service, at (TDD) 1-800-255-0056 or (Voice) 1-800-255-0135 and asking to connect to 770-781-2101. 

Mandi Smith
Director, Voter Registrations and Elections 
09/07/2021

Forsyth County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections 
Regular Monthly Meeting 
September 14, 2021 at 9 a.m.
Forsyth County Voter Registrations and Elections Office
1201 Sawnee Drive
Cumming, Georgia 30040

AGENDA 
I. Call Meeting to Order

II. Pledge of Allegiance

III. Adoption of Agenda

IV. Election of Officers

V. Adoption of Minutes 

A. Monthly Meeting and Executive Session of August 3, 2021

VI. Old Business

A. Disaster Recovery Discussion
B. Parks and Recreation Architectural Design Liaison Update
C. Update on Poll Watcher Issue from November 3, 2020 Election
D. Discussion Regarding Proposed Precinct and Polling Place Changes*
1. For the 2022 Election Cycle

VII. New Business

A. November 2, 2021 Special Election Certification Meeting Date
B. Board Bylaws
C. Poll Watchers During Advance Voting and the November 2, 2021 Special Election
D. GAVREO Conference Update

VIII. Director’s Report
 
IX. Recess Regular Meeting

X. Executive Session (if needed)

XI. Adjournment
*Public comments allowed for this agenda item.

Forsyth County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections 
Regular Monthly Meeting 
September 14, 2021 at 9 a.m.
Forsyth County Voter Registrations and Elections Office
1201 Sawnee Drive
Cumming, Georgia 30040

SUMMARY

Present at the meeting: 

Barbara Luth, Chairman
Joel Natt, Vice Chairman
Carla Radzikinas, Assistant Secretary
Randy Ingram, Secretary
Dan Thalimer, Member
Mandi Smith, Director
Carol Balcome, Assistant to the Director


I. Call Meeting to Order

Chairman Luth called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. Secretary Natt with a second from Member Ingram made a motion to recess at 9:02 a.m. until Board Members Radzikinas and Thalimer arrive. Motion carried 3-0 with Assistant Secretary Radzikinas and Member Thalimer absent.

Member Thalimer arrived at 9:03 a.m. Assistant Secretary Radzikinas arrived at 9:08 a.m.

Chairman Luth called the meeting back to order at 9:09 a.m.

II. Pledge of Allegiance

III. Adoption of Agenda

Secretary Natt with a second from Member Ingram made a motion to adopt the agenda as prepared. Motion carried unanimously.

IV. Election of Officers

Chairman Luth opened the floor for nominations for Vice Chairman. Member Thalimer nominated Member Ingram and Assistant Secretary Radzikinas nominated Secretary Natt. Chairman Luth closed the nominations.

Chairman Luth called for the vote for Member Ingram as Vice Chairman. Votes were 2 in favor (Ingram, Thalimer) and three opposed (Luth, Natt, and Radzikinas).

Chairman Luth called for the vote for Secretary Natt as Vice Chairman. Votes were 3 in favor (Luth, Natt, Radzikinas) and 2 opposed (Ingram, Thalimer).

Chairman Luth opened the floor for nominations for Secretary. Assistant Secretary Radzikinas nominated Member Ingram as Secretary. There were no other nominations.

Vice Chairman Natt with a second from Chairman Luth made a motion by acclamation to elect Member Ingram as Secretary. Motion carried unanimously.

V. Adoption of Minutes 

A. Monthly Meeting and Executive Session of August 3, 2021

Vice Chairman Natt with a second from Member Thalimer made a motion to adopt the minutes as prepared by staff. Motion carried unanimously.

VI. Old Business

A. Disaster Recovery Discussion

Chairman Luth stated staff is still working on the plan and Director Smith concurred.
 
B. Parks and Recreation Architectural Design Liaison Update

Assistant Secretary Radzikinas reported she and Director Smith attended a Bennett Park Design Meeting on September 9, 2021. The community building plan was discussed first and the access of the room and room size will be good for voting. Electrical outlets and circuitry will be discussed at the next meeting on December 9, 2021.  Assistant Secretary Radzikinas also stated Parks and Recreation Director Jim Pryor was going to be attending a meeting to discuss the Sharon Springs Park development and would provide an update if necessary.

C. Update on Poll Watcher Issue from November 3, 2020 Election

Director Smith reported she has received no update on the incident.

D. Discussion Regarding Proposed Precinct and Polling Place Changes*
1. For the 2022 Election Cycle

Director Smith reported this is an ongoing process and new locations continue to be researched. Vice Chairman Natt requested Director Smith work with current polling locations to post information regarding any changes for the 2022 election cycle. 

VII. New Business

A. November 2, 2021 Special Election Certification Meeting Date
Director Smith reported the November 2, 2021 Special Election Certification Meeting date needs to be changed from the already approved November 9, 2021 meeting date due to a recent change approved in Senate Bill 202. Certification for the November 2, 2021 Special Election must take place no later than 5 p.m. on the Monday after the election.

Chairman Luth with a second from Assistant Secretary Radzikinas made a motion to hold the certification meeting on Monday, November 8, 2021 at 9 a.m. Motion carried unanimously.

B. Board Bylaws

The Board discussed possible changes to the current Bylaws adopted on January 4, 2016. Director Smith will have the recommended changes redlined and brought back to the board at the October 5, 2021 meeting for review and possible adoption. 

C. Poll Watchers During Advance Voting and the November 2, 2021 Special Election

Per a consultation with the county attorney, Vice Chairman Natt reported each party may submit 2 names per location as poll watchers for the November 2, 2021 Special Election. Also, the two mayoral candidates for the City of Cumming may submit 1 name per location where their name appears on the ballot.

D. GAVREO Conference Update

Assistant Secretary Radzikinas gave a brief update and positive reviews on her participation at the GAVREO Conference. Chairman Luth stated she was a virtual participant and was pleased with the program and speakers.

VIII. Director’s Report

Director Smith presented the Director’s Report and discussed voter registration statistics, staffing, the public notice for logic and accuracy testing, poll worker training dates and provided the Board with a sample ballot.

Vice Chairman Natt asked Director Smith to have the generator tested before Advance Voting begins on October 12.

Vice Chairman Natt with a second from Assistant Secretary Radzikinas made a motion to request Chairman Luth attend any interviews Director Smith holds regarding the open coordinator positions. Motion carried unanimously.

Director’s Report
September 14, 2021

Voter Registrations & Elections Activity Statistics
2021 Voter Registration Statistics
Pending and Cancelled Voter Statistics 
Total Registered Voters (Active and Inactive) by Year
VR Totals
August 
ACTIVE TOTAL 168541
INACTIVE TOTAL 5012
CUMULATIVE TOTAL 173553

PENDING VOTERS As of 9/10/21
Pending Age 46
Pending Verification 0
Pending 40 Day Clock 10
Pending 26 Month Clock 143
TOTAL 199
CANCELLED VOTERS As of 8/1/21-8/31/21
Moved Out of State 12
Voter Requested Cancellation 1
Felon – Cancelled 13
Felon – Challenged Status 21
Deceased 172
Rejected 0
TOTAL 219
NOTES:


Moved Out of County 529

Voter Registration
Voter registration applications are being processed regularly.  Staff continue to pull VR apps for cancelled records in previous years from the master files and inter-file VR apps from recent years.  
Update on Challenged Voter List submitted on July 29, 2021: 
Letters were mailed to 48 of the 56 names on the list of challenged voters on August 9, 2021.  
8 of the voters on the list were in cancelled status at the time the letters were issued: no letters were mailed to these voters.
The grounds for the challenge and the list of challenged voters are posted to the department’s webpage.
A copy of the letter issued to these voters is included in the Board’s packet.
As of September 14, there is no change to the status in Enet of any of the voters on the list. 
Staff
Current filled staff/positions: 6 full-time (4 unfilled) and 10 part-time (0 unfilled).
Board Members
Today is Dan Thalimer’s, Democratic Party appointee, first Board meeting. 
Training/Outreach  
Staff attended the Georgia Association of Voter Registration and Election Officials (GAVRE) conference training from August 29 through September 1.  Assistant Secretary Radzikinas attended the training in person in Jekyll Island.  The remainder of staff attended virtually.  
Election Equipment
Logic and Accuracy testing for the election equipment to be used in the November 2, 2021 Special Election and City of Cumming Municipal General Election is scheduled to start on Monday, September 27, 2021.  Public Notice of the testing is set to run in the Forsyth County News in the Saturday/Sunday, September 18/19, 2021 edition and will be posted on our webpage by this time.  A copy of the Notice along with the relevant Code section is included in the Board’s packet.
Polling Places and Precincts
Updates were made in the statewide voter registration database (Enet) to the voters affected by the polling place and precinct changes approved by the Board at their last meeting.  Precinct cards have been ordered from the State for all affected voters and will be mailed as soon as they are received. 
Election Information
November 2, 2021: City of Cumming municipal General Election
Candidate Qualifying was held by the City from August 16 through 18.  Two candidates qualified for the office of Mayor.  One candidate, the incumbent, qualified for each of the two City Council seats.  
November 2, 2021: Board of Education Special Election
The ballot proof has been reviewed and was signed off on yesterday.
A copy of the Sample Ballot is in the Board’s packet.  The Sample Ballot was just completed this morning and will be posted to the department’s webpage by the end of the week as well as forwarded to all relevant parties.
Please note: the first day of Advance Voting will be Tuesday, October 12, 2021.  While 21-2-385(d)(1)(A) states that advance voting shall commence the fourth Monday prior to the general election, that date, October 11, is Columbus Day.  SB 202 amended the code section to state voting would not be conducted on observed state holidays.  While Forsyth County does not observe Columbus Day, the state does; therefore, the first day of Advance Voting will be Tuesday, October 12.
Poll Worker Training is set to begin Wednesday, September 15.  Training is set to take place in person.  Each session has a limited number of attendees in order to maintain distancing and minimize congregating.  A list of the training dates is included in the Board’s packet.
SB 202 revised 21-2-493 to read that “returns shall be certified by the superintendent not later than 5pm on the Monday following the date on which such election was held.”  The Board will decide today on the date for certification of the election.
Building Update
Staff met with the architect firm SWI Studio and Staff to review the revised design for the warehouse area.  Staff will coordinate with reviewing the updated plans.
IS&T/Software/Hardware

Ethics Reporting / Candidate Qualifying 

Non-election year Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report (CCDR) due dates:
 
June 30
December 31

Non-election year Personal Financial Disclosure Statement (PFDS) due date:

Not before January 1 and no later than July 1

Legislation (pending/approved bills)/Change to Election Code/SEB Rules
The State Election Board (SEB) is scheduled to meet on September 21, 2021 to review and consider pending SEB Rule changes.  Those pending rule changes are posted to the SEB website. 

Open Records Request(s) (ORR)
Number of ORR received between 08/01/2021 and 09/01/2021: 9
2021 Year to Date (starting as of 3/2/21): 32

Budget / Finance

Calendar of Upcoming Events
Sept 14, 2021 Board Meeting
October 4, 2021 Voter Registration Deadline (for November 2 election)
October 5, 2021 Board Meeting
October 11, 2021 Columbus Day – State is closed; County is open
October 11, 2021 Start of Absentee by Mail for November 2 election 
October 12, 2021 Start of Advance Voting
November 2, 2021 Election Day (Municipal General Election/Special Election)
November 9, 2021 Board Meeting
November 11, 2021 Veteran’s Day; county holiday; offices closed
November 25 & 26 Thanksgiving; county holiday; offices closed
December 7, 2021 Board Meeting
December 24 & 27 Christmas holiday; county holiday; offices closed

Respectfully Submitted,
Mandi Smith
Director, Voter Registrations and Elections

 
IX. Recess Regular Meeting

Vice Chairman Natt with a second from Assistant Secretary Radzikinas made a motion to enter into Executive Session at 10:16 a.m. Motion carried unanimously.

X. Executive Session (if needed)

Chairman Luth called the Executive Session to order at 10:16 a.m. and adjourned the Executive Session at 10:50 a.m.

Vice Chairman Natt stated there were no actions taken or discussions that would require inclusion into the minutes. 

XI. Adjournment

Vice Chairman Natt with a second from Secretary Ingram made a motion to adjourn 10:51 a.m. Motion carried unanimously.

*Public comments allowed for this agenda item.

Forsyth County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections 
Regular Monthly Meeting 
September 14, 2021 at 9 a.m.
Forsyth County Voter Registrations and Elections Office
1201 Sawnee Drive
Cumming, Georgia 30040

MINUTES

Present at the meeting: 

Barbara Luth, Chairman
Joel Natt, Vice Chairman
Carla Radzikinas, Assistant Secretary
Randy Ingram, Secretary
Dan Thalimer, Member
Mandi Smith, Director
Carol Balcome, Assistant to the Director


I. Call Meeting to Order

Chairman Luth called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. Secretary Natt with a second from Member Ingram made a motion to recess at 9:02 a.m. until Board Members Radzikinas and Thalimer arrive. Motion carried 3-0 with Assistant Secretary Radzikinas and Member Thalimer absent.

Member Thalimer arrived at 9:03 a.m. Assistant Secretary Radzikinas arrived at 9:08 a.m.

Chairman Luth called the meeting back to order at 9:09 a.m.

II. Pledge of Allegiance

III. Adoption of Agenda

Secretary Natt with a second from Member Ingram made a motion to adopt the agenda as prepared. Motion carried unanimously.

IV. Election of Officers

Chairman Luth opened the floor for nominations for Vice Chairman. Member Thalimer nominated Member Ingram and Assistant Secretary Radzikinas nominated Secretary Natt. Chairman Luth closed the nominations.

Chairman Luth called for the vote for Member Ingram as Vice Chairman. Votes were 2 in favor (Ingram, Thalimer) and three opposed (Luth, Natt, and Radzikinas).

Chairman Luth called for the vote for Secretary Natt as Vice Chairman. Votes were 3 in favor (Luth, Natt, Radzikinas) and 2 opposed (Ingram, Thalimer).

Chairman Luth opened the floor for nominations for Secretary. Assistant Secretary Radzikinas nominated Member Ingram as Secretary. There were no other nominations.

Vice Chairman Natt with a second from Chairman Luth made a motion by acclamation to elect Member Ingram as Secretary. Motion carried unanimously.

V. Adoption of Minutes 

A. Monthly Meeting and Executive Session of August 3, 2021

Vice Chairman Natt with a second from Member Thalimer made a motion to adopt the minutes as prepared by staff. Motion carried unanimously.

VI. Old Business

A. Disaster Recovery Discussion

Chairman Luth stated staff is still working on the plan and Director Smith concurred.
 
B. Parks and Recreation Architectural Design Liaison Update

Assistant Secretary Radzikinas reported she and Director Smith attended a Bennett Park Design Meeting on September 9, 2021. The community building plan was discussed first and the access of the room and room size will be good for voting. Electrical outlets and circuitry will be discussed at the next meeting on December 9, 2021.  Assistant Secretary Radzikinas also stated Parks and Recreation Director Jim Pryor was going to be attending a meeting to discuss the Sharon Springs Park development and would provide an update if necessary.

C. Update on Poll Watcher Issue from November 3, 2020 Election

Director Smith reported she has received no update on the incident.

D. Discussion Regarding Proposed Precinct and Polling Place Changes*
1. For the 2022 Election Cycle

Director Smith reported this is an ongoing process and new locations continue to be researched. Vice Chairman Natt requested Director Smith work with current polling locations to post information regarding any changes for the 2022 election cycle. 

VII. New Business

A. November 2, 2021 Special Election Certification Meeting Date
Director Smith reported the November 2, 2021 Special Election Certification Meeting date needs to be changed from the already approved November 9, 2021 meeting date due to a recent change approved in Senate Bill 202. Certification for the November 2, 2021 Special Election must take place no later than 5 p.m. on the Monday after the election.

Chairman Luth with a second from Assistant Secretary Radzikinas made a motion to hold the certification meeting on Monday, November 8, 2021 at 9 a.m. Motion carried unanimously.

B. Board Bylaws

The Board discussed possible changes to the current Bylaws adopted on January 4, 2016. Director Smith will have the recommended changes redlined and brought back to the board at the October 5, 2021 meeting for review and possible adoption. 

C. Poll Watchers During Advance Voting and the November 2, 2021 Special Election

Per a consultation with the county attorney, Vice Chairman Natt reported each party may submit 2 names per location as poll watchers for the November 2, 2021 Special Election. Also, the two mayoral candidates for the City of Cumming may submit 1 name per location where their name appears on the ballot.

D. GAVREO Conference Update

Assistant Secretary Radzikinas gave a brief update and positive reviews on her participation at the GAVREO Conference. Chairman Luth stated she was a virtual participant and was pleased with the program and speakers.

VIII. Director’s Report

Director Smith presented the Director’s Report and discussed voter registration statistics, staffing, the public notice for logic and accuracy testing, poll worker training dates and provided the Board with a sample ballot.

Vice Chairman Natt asked Director Smith to have the generator tested before Advance Voting begins on October 12.

Vice Chairman Natt with a second from Assistant Secretary Radzikinas made a motion to request Chairman Luth attend any interviews Director Smith holds regarding the open coordinator positions. Motion carried unanimously.

Director’s Report
September 14, 2021

Voter Registrations & Elections Activity Statistics
2021 Voter Registration Statistics
Pending and Cancelled Voter Statistics 
Total Registered Voters (Active and Inactive) by Year
VR Totals
August 
ACTIVE TOTAL 168541
INACTIVE TOTAL 5012
CUMULATIVE TOTAL 173553

PENDING VOTERS As of 9/10/21
Pending Age 46
Pending Verification 0
Pending 40 Day Clock 10
Pending 26 Month Clock 143
TOTAL 199
CANCELLED VOTERS As of 8/1/21-8/31/21
Moved Out of State 12
Voter Requested Cancellation 1
Felon – Cancelled 13
Felon – Challenged Status 21
Deceased 172
Rejected 0
TOTAL 219
NOTES:


Moved Out of County 529

Voter Registration
Voter registration applications are being processed regularly.  Staff continue to pull VR apps for cancelled records in previous years from the master files and inter-file VR apps from recent years.  
Update on Challenged Voter List submitted on July 29, 2021: 
Letters were mailed to 48 of the 56 names on the list of challenged voters on August 9, 2021.  
8 of the voters on the list were in cancelled status at the time the letters were issued: no letters were mailed to these voters.
The grounds for the challenge and the list of challenged voters are posted to the department’s webpage.
A copy of the letter issued to these voters is included in the Board’s packet.
As of September 14, there is no change to the status in Enet of any of the voters on the list. 
Staff
Current filled staff/positions: 6 full-time (4 unfilled) and 10 part-time (0 unfilled).
Board Members
Today is Dan Thalimer’s, Democratic Party appointee, first Board meeting. 
Training/Outreach  
Staff attended the Georgia Association of Voter Registration and Election Officials (GAVRE) conference training from August 29 through September 1.  Assistant Secretary Radzikinas attended the training in person in Jekyll Island.  The remainder of staff attended virtually.  
Election Equipment
Logic and Accuracy testing for the election equipment to be used in the November 2, 2021 Special Election and City of Cumming Municipal General Election is scheduled to start on Monday, September 27, 2021.  Public Notice of the testing is set to run in the Forsyth County News in the Saturday/Sunday, September 18/19, 2021 edition and will be posted on our webpage by this time.  A copy of the Notice along with the relevant Code section is included in the Board’s packet.
Polling Places and Precincts
Updates were made in the statewide voter registration database (Enet) to the voters affected by the polling place and precinct changes approved by the Board at their last meeting.  Precinct cards have been ordered from the State for all affected voters and will be mailed as soon as they are received. 
Election Information
November 2, 2021: City of Cumming municipal General Election
Candidate Qualifying was held by the City from August 16 through 18.  Two candidates qualified for the office of Mayor.  One candidate, the incumbent, qualified for each of the two City Council seats.  
November 2, 2021: Board of Education Special Election
The ballot proof has been reviewed and was signed off on yesterday.
A copy of the Sample Ballot is in the Board’s packet.  The Sample Ballot was just completed this morning and will be posted to the department’s webpage by the end of the week as well as forwarded to all relevant parties.
Please note: the first day of Advance Voting will be Tuesday, October 12, 2021.  While 21-2-385(d)(1)(A) states that advance voting shall commence the fourth Monday prior to the general election, that date, October 11, is Columbus Day.  SB 202 amended the code section to state voting would not be conducted on observed state holidays.  While Forsyth County does not observe Columbus Day, the state does; therefore, the first day of Advance Voting will be Tuesday, October 12.
Poll Worker Training is set to begin Wednesday, September 15.  Training is set to take place in person.  Each session has a limited number of attendees in order to maintain distancing and minimize congregating.  A list of the training dates is included in the Board’s packet.
SB 202 revised 21-2-493 to read that “returns shall be certified by the superintendent not later than 5pm on the Monday following the date on which such election was held.”  The Board will decide today on the date for certification of the election.
Building Update
Staff met with the architect firm SWI Studio and Staff to review the revised design for the warehouse area.  Staff will coordinate with reviewing the updated plans.
IS&T/Software/Hardware

Ethics Reporting / Candidate Qualifying 

Non-election year Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report (CCDR) due dates:
 
June 30
December 31

Non-election year Personal Financial Disclosure Statement (PFDS) due date:

Not before January 1 and no later than July 1

Legislation (pending/approved bills)/Change to Election Code/SEB Rules
The State Election Board (SEB) is scheduled to meet on September 21, 2021 to review and consider pending SEB Rule changes.  Those pending rule changes are posted to the SEB website. 

Open Records Request(s) (ORR)
Number of ORR received between 08/01/2021 and 09/01/2021: 9
2021 Year to Date (starting as of 3/2/21): 32

Budget / Finance

Calendar of Upcoming Events
Sept 14, 2021 Board Meeting
October 4, 2021 Voter Registration Deadline (for November 2 election)
October 5, 2021 Board Meeting
October 11, 2021 Columbus Day – State is closed; County is open
October 11, 2021 Start of Absentee by Mail for November 2 election 
October 12, 2021 Start of Advance Voting
November 2, 2021 Election Day (Municipal General Election/Special Election)
November 9, 2021 Board Meeting
November 11, 2021 Veteran’s Day; county holiday; offices closed
November 25 & 26 Thanksgiving; county holiday; offices closed
December 7, 2021 Board Meeting
December 24 & 27 Christmas holiday; county holiday; offices closed



Respectfully Submitted,
Mandi Smith
Director, Voter Registrations and Elections

 
IX. Recess Regular Meeting

Vice Chairman Natt with a second from Assistant Secretary Radzikinas made a motion to enter into Executive Session at 10:16 a.m. Motion carried unanimously.

X. Executive Session (if needed)

Chairman Luth called the Executive Session to order at 10:16 a.m. and adjourned the Executive Session at 10:51 a.m.

Vice Chairman Natt stated there were no actions taken or discussions that would require inclusion into the minutes. 

XI. Adjournment

Vice Chairman Natt with a second from Secretary Ingram made a motion to adjourn 10:51 a.m. Motion carried unanimously.

*Public comments allowed for this agenda item.

Today’s Date: October 5, 2021


________________________________
Barbara Luth, Chairman


________________________________
Joel E. Natt, Vice Chairman 


________________________________
Randy Ingram, Secretary


________________________________
Carla Radzikinas, Assistant Secretary


________________________________
Daniel Thalimer, Member