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Wilcox County Electionsboard meets and tabulates absentee ballots

By Lucas C. Allison

Wilcox County Correspondent

The Wilcox Board of Elections held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday June 9. 2020 which was Election day.  Present for the meeting was  Chairman Mike Sutton, April Mathews-Elections Supervisor, and Board members,  Barbara Bailey, Brian Hollingsworth, Maxine Conner Peebles and Brenda Madison   During the reading of previous month’s meeting Chairman  Sutton clarified that meetings cannot only be called by the Chairman but by agreement of three or more Board members, which would represent a quorum. April Mathews reported that all polls in the county were up and running and fully staffed.  She reported they had lost power at the Pineview precinct but voting was not disrupted as the voting machines have backup battery power and the printers and tabulators were operating off of generator power, the power was restored with no interruptions to voters.  She also reported that during Logistics and Accuracy testing it was discovered that one ballot form for Rochelle South Precinct did not have the Presidential candidates on it, and that was corrected prior to election day.  Chairman Sutton reported that he had reviewed the budget of the Elections and Registrations office after Mrs. Mathews reported budget shortfall.  Chairman Sutton stated he had a few items he needed to review with County Manager Paula Jones Ball but felt confident that any discrepancies could be easily resolved.  He stated he wanted to make sure the department was operating within budget as the Board is responsible to the taxpayers to operate Elections and Registrations in the most efficient manner, while assuring the integrity and security of the vote. A discussion was made on currents Rules, Regulations and policies of the Elections and Registration department, it was discovered they were last update in 1992 and previous that 1947.  It was decided that board members would contact the counties of Turner, Dodge, Crisp, Ben Hill, and Pulaski and compare their policies with Wilcox in the update process .

April Mathews-Elections Supervisor reported that 1206 Absentee Ballots had been requested for the June 9th election of those 858 had been returned,  as advertised in accordance with election law the tabulation of ballots began at 4pm, it was discovered during the process that approximately 20 ballots returned had been “SPOILED” for various reason such as persons marking with a check mark or X and not filling in the bubble in accordance with law and under supervision of Board members these ballots were duplicated so that they could be tabulated.

Following the closing of the polls Tuesday all ballots were tabulated and the results posted. Sutton and Mathews said they were pleased with the operations of Tuesday’s election. The Board pf Elections meets monthly on the first Thursday at the Elections/Registration office in Abbeville.