Glynn County commissioners will be asked to consider purchasing the old CVS Pharmacy building on Gloucester Street as the new home for the Glynn County Board of Elections and Registration.
During a workshop before Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting, board members said they need more room because of a state mandate to purchase 30 new voting machines. Some equipment is currently being stored on the floors because of a lack of shelf space.
The elections office is on the second floor of the nearby Office Park building, which the county leases.
The now abandoned CVS building has more than enough room to securely house the voting machines and all the components that go with them, including ample room for expansion.
“We have expanded drastically,” said board chair Patty Gibson. “The new machines have a lot of moving parts.”
Plans would also include glass windows for the rooms where votes are counted to enable the public to watch the process.
County commissioners will be asked to consider the request at a future meeting.
Once the regularly scheduled meeting began, discussions about the state’s new voting law took center stage.
One discussion focused on hand delivering ballots to people hospitalized. Board members decided to continue the practice within the county, but they will not drive to Golden Isles residents hospitalized in Jacksonville, Fla., and other areas outside the county. Those ballots can be mailed.
Absentee ballot changes include a deadline of 10 days before an election is held to receive a ballot.
Board members also discussed confirming inaccurate drivers license numbers or the last four digits of a social security card for an absentee ballot.
Voters do not have to give an excuse to request an absentee ballot.
One major change is designed to eliminate the confusion during the past election by organizations sending duplicate ballot applications, in some cases already filled out and ready to be signed by a voter. It is now illegal to mail duplicate ballots, with a $100 fine for every ballot sent.
Election officials are also looking at new polling place locations after they were told by the Glynn County Schools police chief that the school district wants all polling places removed from school properties.
At the end of the meeting, Gibson announced she plans to retire from the board Aug. 1.
Board members expressed their thanks for her service and the wealth of knowledge she brought to the meetings.
Gibson, today an appointee of the Democratic Party, first served three years in the 1980s with the board of elections, when the board of registration was a separate department. She began serving on the board of elections again starting in 2003, giving her 25 years of election service.
“The time has come,” she said. “It’s been a joy.”