JASPER, Ga. – At Tuesday’s Board of Election meeting, Kathy Browning confronted board members regarding her frustration during the elections of 2020.
From beginning to end, the official Pickens County Board of Elections meeting lasted maybe a total of 15 minutes. With the lack of a full board, much of the agenda was tabled for another day. It wasn’t until the meeting was adjourned that Kathy Browning asked to speak regarding her time as a poll worker.
Browning gave an emotional and detailed recount of her time while at the Pickens County Recreation Center. Short of her calling people or a party by name, Browning says she was intimidated by a handful of unyielding poll watchers assigned to the same location. What’s more, she says it impeded her ability to manage the voters standing in the long lines.
In one instance, she recalled a chatty female poll watcher caused such a disruption that police were called to deescalate the situation. In another example, Browning states that another poll watcher who refused to show any identity showed up armed with binoculars. Julianne Roberts, the Election Supervisor for Pickens County, said she had never seen anything like what took place this past year.
While these things may not seem like much, the State of Georgia takes them seriously.
Consequently, board members and the elections supervisor say that there is a lot of education that needs to be done to make sure Pickens doesn’t repeat many of the mistakes it experienced. One idea tossed around was building a more robust communication line between the local political parties, the Secretary of State office, county and city government, and the local police departments.
Roberts says that her office is always in need of more help, too. Current law states that a poll location must have a minimum of three people, and no one is a volunteer. County clerks are paid $130 a day, assistants are paid $150 a day, and managers are paid $180 a day. If you want more information on how to help, visit the Pickens County Board of Elections website.