Some Gainesville voters may be receiving corrected precinct cards after some cards with inaccurate voting precinct information were mailed out due to a software issue.
Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley said the error occurred while elections staff were doing “street maintenance” in the city of Gainesville to prepare for the Nov. 5 election.
The routine maintenance is a way for elections staff to verify records — “Just making sure that the voter records were correct, making sure that the addresses for voters within the city limits were correct because the boundaries of a city can change over the years, making sure that it was all accurate,” Crumley said. “For instance, if someone was registered to a commercial address, that they were notified that wasn’t allowed.”
Elections staff was using the ElectioNet software connected with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office to check voter records in the city. As they were flagging addresses for follow-up, they set aside some records in a different part of the software, Crumley said.
“Anytime they saw something that was questionable or needed to be addressed, they would take the street that they were looking at, all the addresses on the street that they were looking at, and put them in what they call a holding precinct on their elections software, just as a sort of set-aside to come back to later,” Crumley said.
Staff did not realize that putting those addresses aside in the “holding precinct” would automatically trigger the printing and sending of a new precinct card that would have inaccurate information.
It is unclear how many voters were affected, Crumley said.
“When the addresses were placed into the holding precinct, it generated an incorrect card. Once they were placed back in their correct precinct (with whatever corrections were warranted for that street), it generated another, corrected card,” Crumley said in an email. “While staff does not have an exact record, they estimate that no more than 500 voters were affected.”
Crumley said corrected precinct cards are being mailed out, but if voters have questions about their polling place, they can call the elections office at 770-531-6945. Voters can also check the Secretary of State website to see their polling place.
One polling place has changed — people who previously voted at Prince of Peace Catholic Church will now go to The Venue at Friendship Springs, 7340 Friendship Springs Boulevard in Flowery Branch.
Several local municipalities will hold elections on Nov. 5, and the Special Local Option Sales Tax, a penny sales tax used to fund projects, will be on the ballot countywide.