Voting system tested ahead of school elections

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MASON CITY, IA – This fall marks another round of school elections in the Mason City district and those in charge of the voting process are testing everything out now to make sure things are ready to go.

Ballots are being counted, checked, and tested in hopes of making sure all is well come election time.

An important task that the Cerro Gordo County Auditor says he takes seriously when it comes to being correct.

“It’s important that we are absolutely confident that the machines are working correctly and planned correctly. That the ballots are readable and that everything is working in sync,” Ken Kline, Cerro Gordo County Auditor.

In the upcoming school board elections, voters will vote on special paper ballots that will be counted with the use of optical-scan machines.
in addition, ballot marking machines are available for those needing help.

Kline says the process will help to make sure everyone will be able to share their votes come election day.

“It’s essentially a printer that allows a person with a disability to interact with the machine to have that machine mark the ballot for them if they need help,” said Kline.

This year’s school board elections look to increase voter turn-out from what’s historically been a poor turn-out rate in the past.

Two major levy’s are up for a vote and that could bring more people to the polls.

“We also have two important issues that are on the ballot this year as well and that is the instructional support levy and the (PPEL) levy that we are taking to the voters. Those are two major pieces that we need to be able to continue with some of the funding and some of the programs that we want to offer within our school district,” said Bob Thoms, Vice President of the Board of Education for Mason City Schools.

Thoms encourages voters to come out on election day and make their voices heard.

“We are always out here encouraging folks to get out there and to vote regardless of what the issues or who the people’s names are on the ballots,” said Thoms.

Thanks to new voting centers located throughout Mason City and Westfork school districts, voters will be able to vote for their elected officials without worrying about having to be in their specific district during election day.

They say while it’s more work for the county, it’s a convenience to voters.

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