DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — In a special called meeting on the morning of June 25, 2020, members of the DeKalb County Board of Registrations and Elections voted unanimously to certify the results from the primary election held on June 9, 2020, before addressing concerns about the vote count.
Due to several issues that took place during the primaries, the Georgia Secretary of State announced he had launched an investigation into the election processes in DeKalb and Fulton Counties.READ MORE: Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson joins US Supreme Court
Board Member Dele Lowman Smith said the board had received several questions regarding the vote counts and she urged members to provide the public with some background on what occurred at the polls.
Board Supervisor Erica Hamilton advised she would later discuss the issues with their legal department, but she weighed in on issues with scanning the ballots.
Our ballot scanners were certified by the state, accepted by the state, provided to us by the Secretary of State’s office, with their recommendations as to the filters we should have on the ballots. Any ballot that was deemed by the scanner not to be acceptable to go through the scanner, our review panel reviewed it, and then we duplicated those ballots onto a ballot that would go through the scanner.
Hamilton said an independent review panel looked at any questionable ballots, and she said the counting was done accurately.
Baoky Vu, another board member, also wanted to further address voters’ concerns. He requested that Hamilton provide a breakdown on challenges with voter registration, absentee votes and why the certification process took so long.
Hamilton said she would provide that information following later meeting.READ MORE: Delta pilots protest for new contracts, more pay ahead of July 4 weekend
Board Member Susan Motter also said they are aware of the issues and planned to discuss recommendations in an afternoon meeting.
In addition, Board Member Anthony Lewis recapped how smaller staffs and having to relocate voting precincts posed additional challenges, creating long lines at the polls. He said he wanted the public to know the board is aware of the problems and is making a concerted effort to ensure a smoother process during the upcoming elections.
Board Chairman Samuel Tillman echoed their sentiments before motioning to end the meeting.
CW69 reached out the Georgia Secretary of State’s office for an update on its investigation, and no new information was provided. However, the office has indicated it will look at the election reports from the counties and said the data would help officials identify and fix the problems.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger previously said the COVID-19 pandemic, poll worker training issues, too many voters at single polling places and logistics contributed to problems around the state. He also released a November Plan of Action focusing on four main areas:
- Increased Technical Support
- Enhanced Hands On Training
- Decrease Lines through More Polling Places
- Increase Use of Pre-Election Day Voting Options
Board members confirmed they would hear from county commissioners and further discuss primary election issues in another special called meeting next week.