Back up of voter records in case of natural disasters and solicitations for the third, at-large member seat were the topics of discussion today at the elections board meeting.
All three members' terms end in June 2011. Democratic member Garvin Haynes announced that the Rockdale Democratic Party intended to reappoint him to the board, and also announced that he would not approve the third, at-large member Cary Bond for the traditionally non-partisan seat
"Which means that seat will be vacant and applications will be taken until we find an agreeable member at-large," said Haynes. He added that the interviews of applicants would also be able to be televised.
Republican member Lynn Brown said that this was not the appropriate venue for such remarks and solicitation for applicants.
Bond indicated he would be reapplying for the seat.
"For what it's worth, I will fill out an application for reappointment to the board of elections," said Bond. "I will continue to serve until my successor is named."
Bond disagreed with Haynes' contention that the third member did not have to be non-partisan. "The law is silent on that," said Bond.
After the meeting, Haynes pointed out a 1986 Attorney General's ruling that election board members did not have to be non-partisan.
Records Back Up
Bond brought up the concern that there was no back up system for voter and elections records in case of a flood, fire, tornado, or other natural disaster.
Elections Supervisor Cynthia Welch agreed. "None of our records are protected," she said. "A lot of counties have started to think about 'Are we prepared in case of a tornado or fire?'"
She said only 60 percent of the voter registration records were protected in fireproof cabinets.
Part of the difficulty in finding a vendor to back up and digitize voter registration and election records is that any new system would have to be compatible with the Secretary of State's office, said Welch.
It was only recently one vendor emerged with a system currently used by 27 other counties that is compatible with the Secretary of State's system.
A price estimate of $18,000 was given to begin the process. That quote did not include yearly maintenance and service prices, said Welch.
She said she was currently looking at the budget to see if funds could be found.