The club had the privilege of hearing from a member of the Board of Registrars today - Colin McRae.  Before John Neely introduced Colin, President Laura Lane reminded the membership of the Social Distanced Happy Hour that is in the works.  Please stay tuned for more information about the event.  Once all Rotary business items were discussed, Colin spoke to the club.  
Colin is a lawyer at Hunter McLean and in 2005, he was appointed by a judge to the Board of Registrars in Chatham County.  The Board of Registrars is separate from the Board of Elections.  The Board of Registrars has 3 functions:1.  The registration of voters.  There are around 200,000 registered in Chatham County. 2. Monitoring and offering early in person voting starting 3 weeks before election day. 3.  Administer absentee mail in voting.   The Board of Elections handles everything else such as overseeing the ballot, deciding on polling venues, administering voting on election day, and certifying elections.  The people who serve on the Board of Elections are elected and it is a partisan group.  
Since Colin started on the Board of Registrars,  he has seen an uptick in registrations and attributes part of the increase to a question asked when you renew or go to apply for a drivers license.  Previously, early in person voting was accounting for 50% of the votes.  Due to mail in ballots in the June election, well over 50% of votes were cast before election day.  The main early voting station is located on Eisenhower Drive behind the DMV.  The hours are from 8am - 6pm.  Most satellite voting sites are only open 5 days before an election but this November, they will be open 3 weeks before similar to the site on Eisenhower. They will also offer two weekend votes for the November election  - October 17 and 18 and then again on October 24 and 25.  Fortunately, the budget was increased this year to help with the early voting sites and the mail in ballots.  The Board of Registrars must have staff for both.  
Recently in the news, there have been concerns about fraudulent mail in ballots.  Colin believes there is no support to this claim.  He hasn't seen any evidence of fraud with mail in ballots.  In Chatham County, they have a two step process in order to validate all mail in ballots.  Signature matching is an important part of the process.  He said the largest number of rejected ballots is due to not receiving the ballots by 7 pm on election day.  Therefore, he recommends allowing two weeks for your ballot to reach the office.  You can track your ballot by logging onto the Georgia My Voter Page.  In fact, he believes there is less fraud with mail in ballots vs. in person voting.  Finally, he said he would predict that lines might be longer on election day in November due to less voting sites and fewer staffers because of COVID-19.