When the opening line to me on my County email is “Have you lost your mind?” you can shape your response in the same tone or see the issue as an opportunity to educate. I prefer to take the latter approach. The matter at hand is whether or not the Board will provide approximately $250K to mail absentee ballots to registered voters in the County. While it is not on the current agenda, there is still a parliamentary option that will allow it to be added to the agenda. A commissioner can make a motion to add it on Tuesday and, as a practice, I would second such a motion if no other commissioner did so. However, my second comes with the understanding that it is for the purpose of allowing discussion, not that I would necessarily support the motion. It would be reasonable for a commissioner to have sounded out their peers on the proposal before making such a motion. But we’ll see what happens on Tuesday.
I would remind those who support the use of general fund revenues for this action, i.e., public tax dollars, that the Board of Elections had 3 opportunities during the public hearings in July for the proposed 2021 budget to bring their request before the Board. The BOE did not. For those who believe funds from CARES legislation should be used, the challenge is that there are more requirements for these funds than there is money. As we get into the fall, and if the Congress doesn’t renew the unemployment supplements, people will look to the County for assistance in such areas as food insecurity, and rental and mortgage assistance. We need to have some fuel left in the gas tank for these possible contingencies. I see it as one of my major responsibilities to lead the Board in addressing these matters.
In short, while I am canvassing daily, my main focus remains on serving the people and by my leadership giving them hope during these times. I strongly encourage people to mask up, wash up and step up by practicing social distancing. I also strongly encourage you to apply for an absentee ballot. To get one you call the Elections Office at 770 528 2581 or apply for one on line at https://www.cobbcounty.org/elections/voting/absentee-voting. The fact that more than 100K voters used this option in the primary testifies to the integrity of their votes.