Board of Elections Unveils New Voting Machine

Board of Elections, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Fannin County Board of Elections unveiled the new voting machines during their meeting held on Tuesday, October 15, 2019.

The new voting machines, pictured to the right, will be utilized by the next presidential preference election, thus doing away completely with the old machines according to the Fannin County Board of Elections.

These new machines will create an instant paper trail with each vote cast according to Vice Chairman Mary Ann Conner, whereas the current machines create paper receipts of all votes cast only at the end of each election day.

Unlike previously believed, however, these machines will still utilize the same plastic yellow card system currently in place. The card will now be inserted into the bottom of the screen, where the yellow card reader sits.

Instead of hitting “Cast Ballot”, voters will select “Print Ballot”, at which time each voter may clearly view the candidates and measures voted upon during the touch screen process on a physical piece of paper.

If the printed ballot displays discrepancies, the voter may be re-issued a ballot, whereas before once “Cast Ballot” was selected, there was no turning back.

If the printer ballot displays correctly, then the voter will take the ballot to a scanner to have the ballot recorded before having it placed into a locked box.

Voters will not be allowed to carry their paper ballot out of the precinct, and all printed ballots will be kept in the Clerk’s office for a minimum of two years under law.

The county currently only has one machine, but 10 are expected to be received within the next shipment, followed by 70 more, making a total of 80 machines for the county to utilize during elections.

Conner states that the public will soon be able to practice with these machines ahead of the elections, and Fetch Your News will be sure to notify you of when this process begins, so be sure to stay tuned!

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City Council Approves New Speed Limits

City Council, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Blue Ridge City Council approved new speed limits during their meeting on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.

They are as follows:

Street Name / Current Speed Limit / New Speed Limit

Ada Street from Mountain to City Limit sign / 30 / 20

Board Town Road / 25 / 20

Church Street / 25 / 20

Cook Street / 25 / 20

Davis Street / 25 / 20

Depot Street / 25 / 20

Old 76 from City Limit to Green Street. School Zone add flashing light 20mph. / 45 / 35

Old 76 from Green Street to Orvin Lance Connector / 35 / 30

East Main Street from Old 76 (Lynn Kemp) to McKinney Street / 35 / 25

East Main Street from McKinney Street to Church Street / 20 / 10

East Main Street from Church Street to Mountain Street / 5 / 5

East Main Street from Mountain Street to Old 76 / 30 / 20

East Second Street from East First Street to Church Street / 30 / 25

Industrial Blvd. from East First Street to Ouida Street (City Limit) / 35 / 30

East Highland Street / 25 / 20

Haight Street / 25 / 20

Jones Street / 25 / 20

Josh Hall Road / 25 / 20

Orvin Lance Drive / 25 / 20

McKinney Street / 25 / 20

Messer Street / 25 / 20

Milam Street / 25 / 20

Mountain Hideway Trail / 25 / 20

Mountain Street / 25 / 20

Mountain Tops Street / 25 / 20

Mountain Tops Circle / 25 / 20

Mountain Tops Road / 25 / 20

Old 76 from Orvin Lane, Connector to Marina / 25 / 30

Orchard Blvd. / 25 / 20

Orvin Lance Connector / 25 / 20

Ouida Street / 25 / 20

Porter Road / 25 / 20

Ridge Street / 25 / 20

River Street / 25 / 20

Roberts Way / 25 / 15

Scenic Drive / 25 / 20

Sierra Lane / 25 / 20

State Street / 25 / 20

Summit Street / 25 / 20

Trackside Lane / 25 / 20

Waldroup Lane / 25 / 20

West First Street from McKinney Street to Depot Street / 35 / 25

West First Street from Depot Street to Highway 515 / 35 / 30

West Second Street / – / 20

West Fain Street / – / 20

West Highland Street / 25 / 20

West Main Street from McKinney Street to Mountain Street / 30 / 20

Willa Street / 25 / 20

Wilson Street / 25 / 20

Windy Ridge Road / 25 / 20

Highway 515, US 76 from Bridge to Bridge (City Limit to City Limit) / 55 / 45
 
 
 
Board member Rhonda Haight made the motion to pass, Board member Nathan Fitts seconded, with the Board voting unanimously.

No changes were made to the proposed limits since the initial draft and first reading.
 
 
 

 
 
 
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Board of Education Approves New Personnel

Board of Education, News

2020 Teacher of the Year Candidates

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Fannin County Board of Education approved new personnel and resignations during their meeting on Thursday, August 1, 2019.

The board voted unanimously on all recommendations.

Recommendations:
*Pending completion of paperwork and background check

Hanna Bryant – Teacher
Christy Brogden – Teacher
Robert Wood – Transportation Department
Amy Buchanan – Finance and HR Coordinator
Leigh Wood – Payroll and Benefits Coordinator

Annual General Session meeting Introductions

Recommendations – Substitute Teacher:
*Pending completion of paperwork and background check

Lisa Barkas
Leslie Dean
Pamela Foster
Jodi L. Graves
Ginnie McNally
Brandy Owenby
Patricia Partin
*Josh Patterson

 

 

Recommendations – Substitute Bus Driver:
*Pending completion of paperwork and background check
James Adams

Annual General Session meeting in the Performing Arts Center.

Recommendation – Substitute Custodian:
*Pending completion of paperwork and background check
Kenneth Dougherty

Recommendation – Substitute Clerical:
Pamela M. Huff

Resignations:
Wesley Chastain (effective Friday, August 23, 2019)
Nathan Daugherty (effective Friday, July 26, 2019)

The video below covers this meeting, as well as the annual General Session meeting that took place in the Fannin County High School’s Performing Arts Center following the meeting.

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Board of Education Introduces Newer, Safer School Bus

Board of Education, News

Extended stop arm for increased visibility.

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Fannin County Board of Education introduced a newer, safer School Bus during their meeting on Thursday, August 1, 2019.

Personnel from the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office, Blue Ridge City Police Department, McCaysville Police Department, and the Georgia State Patrol were all invited to attend the event showcasing the bus on Friday, August 2, 2019.

The new bus model features an extended six foot stop arm for increase visibility.

The new model will also be surrounded by external cameras that will easily record passing offenders.

In addition to the extra lighting the bus’ have had in the past, this model also includes a license plate reader to obtain information of those who pass a stopped bus going forward.

Bus side camera.

The new model was paid for by special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST), and though not every bus will be immediately replaced, transportation director Denver Foster says that he expects to see alot more of them in the future.

Also according to Foster (quoting a national association that monitors school bus activity), it was reported that in a single day in 2018 there were 84,000 bus-passing violations nation-wide.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 is the first day of school in Fannin County, so if you haven’t seen the new bus’ yet, be sure to keep an eye out!

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Secretary of State Issues Statement on New Voting Machines

News, Press Release

In response to the upcoming voting machines being implemented in 2020, the following news has been released by the Georgia Secretary of State:

SECURITY-FOCUSED TECH COMPANY, DOMINION
VOTING TO IMPLEMENT NEW VERIFIED PAPER BALLOT
SYSTEM

Security-Focused Tech Company, Dominion Voting to Implement New Verified Paper Ballot System
(ATLANTA) — After a competitive selection process, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger selects Dominion Voting
Systems to implement its new verified paper ballot system. Implementation of the new secure voting system will start
immediately and be in place and fully operational for the March 24, 2020 Presidential Preference Primary.
“Elections security is my top priority,” said Raffensperger. “We look forward to working with national and local elections
security experts to institute best practices and continue to safeguard all aspects of physical and cyber-security in an
ever-changing threat environment.”

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has already partnered with the Department of Homeland Security and private
cyber-security companies to provide network monitoring, cyber-hygiene scanning, and cyber-security assessments.
Many Georgia counties have also partnered with DHS to provide physical security assessments of their election offices.
“We are honored to partner with the State of Georgia to deliver a best-in-class system that is fully adaptable to state
needs,” said Dominion CEO John Poulous. “Election officials and voters alike can be assured they are using the most
modern, accessible and security-focused system on the market today, with paper ballots for every vote cast to ease
auditing and ensure confidence in results.”

“As Election Director my job is to make sure every voter has a positive experience,” said Rockdale County Elections
Supervisor, Cynthia Willingham. “We are grateful to the Secretary of State for the new system and will ensure every
voter is able to efficiently and accurately cast their ballot.”

 

According to Mary Ann Conner of the Fannin County Board of Elections, the above information has been published on the Secretary of State’s Website as well.

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State to utilize new voting machines by presidential preference election, plus Fannin voter numbers update

Election, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The state of Georgia will utilize new voting machines by the next presidential preference election, thus doing away completely with the old machines according to the Fannin County Board of Elections.

These new machines will create an instant paper trail with each vote cast according to Vice Chairman Mary Ann Conner, whereas the current machines create paper receipts of all votes cast only at the end of each election day.

Instead of a plastic yellow card, voters will receive a paper ballot that they will take to the new touch screen machine. Instead of hitting “Cast Ballot”, voters will select “Print Ballot”, at which time each voter may clearly view the candidates and measures voted upon during the touch screen process on a physical piece of paper.

If the printed ballot displays discrepancies, the voter may be re-issued a ballot, whereas before once “Cast Ballot” was selected, there was no turning back.

If the printer ballot displays correctly, then the voter will take the ballot to a scanner to have the ballot recorded before having it placed into a locked box.

Voters will not be allowed to carry their paper ballot out of the precinct, and according to Conner, Fannin will be allowing voters to practice with the machines prior to the election once they are obtained by the county.

All printed ballots will be kept in the Clerk’s office for a minimum of two years under law.

Fannin Board of Elections Members

The voting machines have always been placed at the 12 voting precincts the night before each election (as they are in Gilmer County) and have been chained together with a lock.

However, for the sake of security, Conner states there has been talk of having someone stay over night with the three machines that aren’t currently secured in locked rooms as is the case with counties such as Gilmer.

For Fannin County in particular, there were 369 new applicants for voting (there were none last month due to a hold from the Tuesday, March 19, 2019 election). There were 19,482 registered voters total as of Tuesday, April 30, 2019. There have been 105 deletions; 79 moved out of county, three moved out of state, and 23 were marked deceased.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8ERoKSM-TU[/embedyt]

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