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Audio recordings questioned by election board
Steven mullice
Election Board Chairman Stephen Mullice - photo by Courier file photo
They can take written notes, but Liberty County Election Board members may not be able to record their meetings.
The question arose during Monday’s meeting when board member Esau Kelly brought a tape recorder.
He said it was “for my personal purposes,” and it would help him recall details.
Kelly was under the impression other board members understood the reason he wanted to tape the meetings.
“We heard it,” said member Richard Braun.
Kelly asked if any of the members had a problem with the recorder.
“I do,” member Sam Harris responded. “I do if you can’t use it for no other purpose than personal purpose.”
If a recorder was used, board Chairman Stephen Mullice suggested the board staff should operate it and the recorded copies should be kept in the office.
“I don’t think you can record everything that’s done here in this meeting,” Mullice said. “Because I think it would be unlawful if we had an executive session and we recorded in executive session.”
Kelly pointed out that Walthourville City Council records its meeting and any other body should be able to do the same.
Mullice decided it would be best to verify with the county attorney.
“Until we get clearance on that, I would please ask you [turn it off],” Mullice said. “I can’t make you turn it off.”
Kelly quietly turned the recorder off after that and Mullice thanked him.
In other business, the board decided the Walthourville’s Police Station will become Precinct 4 polling place, since the county cannot use another building any more.
Ella Golden, interim elections supervisor, explained the county still has 13 precincts and the police department just replaces the former building.
“They accepted us graciously,” Golden said of the city council. “And we have the Walthourville precinct as the fourth precinct now for voting.”
Golden also reported the county has 24,635 registered voters after the secretary of state required the office to purge 1,592 voters from rolls.
“We’re purging the file because they have not voted in two general elections,” Golden told the board.
The next monthly meeting was moved to May 27 because of the Memorial Day holiday.
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