VALDOSTA – Elections officials are preparing for a full year of voting.

Lowndes County Board of Elections held its first meeting of the new decade Tuesday. The meeting was held in the lobby of the Board of Elections building because election officials were preparing to host a training session in the usual meeting room Wednesday, said Deb Cox, Lowndes County supervisor of elections. 

During her supervisor's report, Cox said she expected representatives from 15 counties to attend training for the new ICX touchscreen voting machines. Speaking of the new voting machines, she mentioned two voting precincts in the county cannot fit the new equipment and would require splitting the two locations, noting that splitting process is still in the early stages. 

She said the budget for Fiscal Year 2020 is already approved, but funding for a generator to ensure data security could be tacked on, as well. 

In the new business portion, board member Ray Corbett voiced concern about recruiting poll workers; Cox responded the problem is statewide, not just locally. She said recruiting continues year round and she wants to refocus on high school recruitment since poll workers must be 16 years of age or older. 

Resident Pam Hubbard echoed Corbett's concern about poll worker recruitment and Cox reiterated that recruiting efforts are always ongoing. Cox said the need for poll workers remains high enough the board cannot turn candidates away if they make it through interviewing and training. She said even though the county increased pay from $90 to $120, it did not significantly affect recruitment numbers.

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