The Glynn County Board of Elections announced Chris Channell to be the sole finalist for the elections and registration supervisor position. Currently the assistant supervisor, he has been serving as interim supervisor since the board fired his predecessor in December.

Glynn County’s Board of Elections announced Assistant Elections and Registration Supervisor Chris Channell to be the sole candidate for its vacant supervisor position.

Channel currently serves as the interim supervisor, standing in since the board fired his predecessor in December.

Following the meeting, the board released a statement reading in part: “on May 14, 2019, the (board of elections) released the name of Christopher Channell as the finalist candidate for the position of supervisor of elections and registration.”

The statement further said that documents pertaining to Channell as a candidate can be found in the board of elections’ office.

By law, the board must give 14 days’ notice to allow for the public to offer feedback before voting to hire Channell. They set a meeting for 2 p.m. May 30 to seal the deal.

He follows former supervisors Tina Edwards and Monica Couch, who departed their roles in July 2017 and December 2018, respectively. Edwards resigned from her position while the board voted to fire Couch on Dec. 12, just after the 2018 general election runoff.

In other business, the board discussed the potential cost of new voting machines.

While the state will provide the new machines in light of a recent overhaul of elections law, associated equipment may end up costing local boards of elections, Channell explained.

“The two areas I’m concerned about are, how are we wanting to put the ballot-marking devices out,” Channell said.

The board could either attach them to stands — as are the county’s current voting machines — or set them on tables and allow voters to sit down to vote. The board also has to consider the privacy blinders to prevent people from looking at someone else’s ballot.

“For the 200-something machines we should be getting, we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars that was not in this budget,” Channell said.

“And if we have to use tables, we’ll have to rent some tables for some locations,” board Chairwoman Patty Gibson added.

If it’s a problem Glynn County is facing, she said it’s a problem others are facing as well.

“We just have to remember we’re not alone. This is a state decision, but there are a lot of counties that have less money than we have to work with, so the state’s going to have to step in and help to a great degree. Not just purchasing machines, they can’t just dump them on us,” Gibson said.

It may not end up costing tens of thousands, Channell said, but he had already asked the county’s finance department to set aside around $15,000 in the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget just in case.

“Until the state decides (which manufacturer to buy voting machines from), all we can do is sit here and wait,” Gibson said.

Channell also updated the board on a project to scan voter registration records into a digital database.

It’s been slower going than he anticipated, he said. Board employees have completed around 20-22 percent of the project, but complications in the scanning process have slowed them down.

The board also recognized the service of outgoing board member Ruby Robinson and elected officers to the next year. Gibson, Vice-Chairwoman Sandy Dean and Secretary Keith Rustin were all re-elected to their roles.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 11 in the Office Park Building, 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick.

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