Elections

Dr. Tom Rees, the board's chair, said Tuesday the funding has rolled over for several budget years while the discussion plays out. The new members — John Scott Husser Jr. and Melanie Conrad — questioned if they'd need more money, but Chief Elections Clerk Robert Brady said no.

"If the Legislature mandates new equipment, they will mandate how they're going to pay for it ... We shouldn't have any terrible expenses coming up," Brady said.

This is a slow year for elections, with only six Rome City Commission seats slated for a vote. Brady said he's working with City Clerk Joe Smith on the details "and we're right on schedule." Qualifying for the Ward 1 and Ward 3 contests is slated for the last week in August.

Meanwhile, Elections Board members are holding on to their equipment funding in case the General Assembly doesn't provide enough for incidentals.

Two types of systems are under consideration. One would maintain an electronic touchscreen voting method but print out a paper ballot for scanning. The other would use paper ballots filled in by hand, which also would be counted by optical scanning machines.

A lawsuit pending in federal district court is seeking to require the state to use hand-marked paper ballots.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld last week a ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg that the current electronic voting system poses a substantial risk of hacking. The decision clears the way for the lawsuit to proceed.

Floyd County Election Board members meet monthly for updates from Brady, who is overseen in his duties by the board's chair.

Rees is in his second four-year term. The County Commission appointed Conrad and Husser to replace two longtime members, effective Jan. 1, but the new members helped with the fall elections to gain early experience.

Brady, the former elections supervisor for Sumter County, started work the week after the Nov. 6 general election. He filled a slot that had been vacant since August.

On Tuesday Brady reported that Floyd County had 54,018 active voters, an increase of 596 from the 53,422 on the list in November.