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Tuesday, December 7, 2021
ArlingtonElectoral Board adopts rules for non-in-person participation

Electoral Board adopts rules for non-in-person participation

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After more than a year gathering “virtually,” the Arlington Electoral Board is set to resume in-person meetings. But at the same time, the body has established guidelines for the times individual members cannot participate in person.

Electoral Board members on June 30 adopted their first-ever electronic-meeting policy, spelling out the conditions that would allow members to check in from remote locations.

“It is there [for] when it can be helpful,” Electoral Board secretary Scott McGeary said of the measure, which passed on a 3-0 vote.

Like many governmental bodies, the county’s Electoral Board had been meeting electronically since the onset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. With the expiration of the statewide state of emergency on June 30, “we really can’t meet exclusively . . . electronically” going forward, the body’s chairman, Matt Weinstein, said.

The adopted electronic-meeting policy, which is permitted by state law, will allow Electoral Board members to attend two meetings per year, or 25 percent of all meetings, whichever is greater, away from the elections office. In order to do so, the board member must certify in writing the reason, which could include personal issues or medical matters.

In order for a meeting to go forward, at least two of the three Electoral Board members must be physically located at their in-person meeting place.

Unlike elected bodies, the Electoral Board does not have a set meeting schedule; its members gather when the press of business requires it. Unless something surprising materializes, it’s likely the next meeting will be in September.

For the past seven years, Arlington County Board members have had a similar policy in place regulating the ability of board members to be absent from the dais but still participate in a meeting.

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