A project to scan voter registration records into a digital database may take longer than expected, Glynn County Board of Elections officials heard at their Tuesday meeting.

The Glynn County Commission agreed in December to spend $73,008 on the project, which elections officials expected at the time would take around a year to complete.

Two temporary workers are headed into their third week on the job, said interim Elections and Registration Supervisor Chris Channell.

It’s not as simple as running a registration card through the scanner, he explained.

Before they even get around to scanning them, Channell said each voter registration card needs to have a bar code affixed to it.

Barcodes are assigned to a voter whenever they get their voter registration number, he explained. For voters records not yet entered into the digital database, that bar code needs to be printed out on a sticker and attached to the voters’ registration information.

That’s taking more time than anticipated, he said.

Physical voter records are stored in seven cabinets in the board’s office, each with seven drawers, Channell explained. So far, it’s taken a full-time worker two weeks to print and attach barcodes to one drawer’s worth of voter registration records.

Channell asked the board to wait a month before estimating a completion date, after which he thinks the workers will have figured out how to most efficiently handle the task.

“The first two weeks was mostly them figuring out the process. By the next meeting we’ll be able to give you a better estimate,” Channell told the board.

Actually scanning the records will go much faster. Based on what they’ve done so far, he said it will take around three to four days to scan a single drawer.

Other office staff members were asked to work on printing and affixing barcodes a few hours a day to speed the process along, Channell said.

In other business, board member Tommy Clark said he was confident the board will get funding for a new early voting polling place in its fiscal year 2019-2020 budget.

At its last meeting, Channell told the board it would cost around $17,000 to run a third early voting polling location in both the primary and general elections in 2020. The board voted unanimously at its last meeting to increase its proposed budget for the next fiscal year by $17,000.

Glynn County is still in the budgeting process and has yet to release a draft budget.

The board also heard updates on a discussion between board members and Glynn County Schools about parking and safety concerns at polling places and observed a moment of silence for the late Abe Brown and Jerry Hegstrom. Both were former members of the board.

At the end of the meeting, the board entered a closed session to discuss applications for the elections and registration supervisor position.

It took no vote on the matter before adjourning.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for March 12.

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