The Glynn County Board of Elections voted to amend its bylaws Tuesday to make the entire board contribute to the annual evaluation of the elections and registration supervisor.

Before approving the amendment, the board’s chairperson would handle the evaluation. Board member and former chairwoman Ruby Robinson said chairpersons would take input from other board members when conducting the evaluation.

The board would also review annual evaluations and have the authority to reject or modify disciplinary action recommended by the chairperson.

Current board members wanted a more active role in the evaluation process, however.

The board also voted to authorize staff and poll workers to accept absentee ballots with an incorrect date of birth if the date can be shown to be within the voting period.

Board member Sandy Dean said many voters filled in their ballots with an incorrect date of birth, but in many cases it appeared to be the date they likely would have filled the ballot out. In that case, it would be an honest mistake, not an attempt at fraud, she said.

Assistant county attorney Jason Wilbanks said the law only requires information written on absentee ballots be substantially compliant. Board members unanimously agreed that a ballot would be substantially compliant if the date of birth is incorrect, but is close to the date the voter is likely to have filled the ballot out.

Board members also discussed errors on absentee ballots at their last meeting, at which the board voted to accept ballots even if voters wrote a post office box number as their address. A residential address is required, but the board believed it was acceptable if voter registration records list the post office box as the voter’s mailing address.

Voters must fill out their date of birth, residential address and signature so board staff can verify that an absentee ballot is genuine. The board agreed it would make no concessions for signatures that don’t match those in voter registration records.

In other business, the board gave Couch the go-ahead to see how feasible it would be to break poll workers’ 12-hour shifts into two six-hour shifts.

Couch said poll worker recruitment was difficult this year, mostly due to the smaller number of students who volunteered to work the polls. Dean said splitting poll worker shifts in half might attract people who usually wouldn’t volunteer.

The next meeting of the Board of Elections is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 10 in the Office Park Building, 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick.

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