Board member Alice O’Lenick expressed concern about drop box security in a Nov. 10 meeting, prompting further discussion Tuesday night.
“I have a problem with the drop boxes because nobody ever watches them,” O’Lenick said Nov. 10. “They’re under video surveillance, but nobody has been hired to watch the surveillance. I believe that if we’re going to use the drop boxes, which the public seems to really like, we should establish hours for the drop boxes ... and have poll workers standing with the drop boxes at all times while they are open.”
The boxes are monitored by video cameras 24 hours a day, but the video is not monitored by a person in real time. The Georgia Republican Party requested video of Gwinnett’s drop boxes and were intitially met with a $15,000 bill — governments can charge for the time and work it takes to compile public documents when they are requested through a public information request. Director of Community Services Tina Fleming said the county later revised the fee to a lower total.
If the cameras ever stop working, the county is flagged and an employee is sent to the drop box to monitor until the camera is working again, Fleming said. That explanation made O’Lenick more comfortable continuing to use the boxes, she said. No action was taken to limit the boxes' availability or add additional staffing.
Multiple members of the public called into the teleconference meeting to express their support for continuing the use of the drop boxes.
“With us still being in the midst of a pandemic and numbers beginning to soar in our community once again, it is still absolutely paramount that we use all measures that we can to protect voters who want to exercise their right to vote without putting themselves and their families at risk,” said state Rep. Jasmine Clark, D-Lilburn, in a statement read by a staffer.
Gwinnett County drop boxes will be opened after they begin sending absentee ballots to voters by mail; that date has not yet been determined. The boxes can be found at the following locations:
Bogan Park Community Recreation Center, 2723 North Bogan Road, Buford
Buford-Sugar Hill Branch Library, 2100 Buford Highway, Buford
Dacula Park Activity Building, 2735 Old Auburn Avenue, Dacula
Dacula Branch Library, 265 Dacula Road, Dacula
Hamilton Mill Branch Library, 3690 Braselton Highway, Dacula
Shorty Howell Park Activity Building, 2750 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth
Duluth Branch Library, 3840 Duluth Park Lane, Duluth
Grayson Branch Library, 700 Grayson Parkway, Grayson
Gwinnett Voter Registrations & Elections Beauty P. Baldwin Building, 455 Grayson Highway, Suite 200, Lawrenceville
Collins Hill Branch Library, 455 Camp Perrin Road, Lawrenceville
Five Forks Branch Library, 2780 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lawrenceville
Lawrenceville Branch Library, 1001 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville
Lilburn Branch Library, 4817 Church Street NW, Lilburn
Mountain Park Branch Library, 1210 Pounds Road, Lilburn
Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center, 4651 Britt Road, Norcross
Norcross Branch Library, 6025 Buford Highway, Norcross
Peachtree Corners Branch Library, 5570 Spalding Drive, Peachtree Corners
Lenora Park Gym, 4515 Lenora Church Road, Snellville
Centerville Branch Library, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville
Snellville Branch Library, 2740 Lenora Church Road, Snellville
Mountain Park Aquatic Center,1063 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain
George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Buford Highway, Suwanee
Suwanee Branch Library, 361 Main Street, Suwanee