MASON CITY, Iowa – 24 years ago schools in Cerro Gordo County accounted for almost half the polling locations, but now that’s changed at the request of the schools.
“The dynamic has been concern over security and the need to make sure students are safe,” Cerro Gordo County Auditor Ken Kline said.
This election in particular has some fearing violence at polling locations, leading some schools across the country to cancel classes or move polling locations.
“We’re not anticipating that it’s going to be anything unusual this year,” Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley said. “I think that will fit right into our normal patrol routine. We’ll add a few other locations to go check for that day for where we want to make sure we’re spending some time and I think we should be in good shape at the end of the day on that.”
In the end it’s all about safety for voters, volunteers and students. When asked what his main goal is for Election Day, Kline says he hopes the day goes smoothly and people are happy with how they are able to vote.
“To hold a fair and impartial election that represents the people who are eligible to vote and the correct counting of those votes,” Kline said.
Brinkley suggests avoiding the polls at busy times like early mornings, lunchtime and right after work if at all possible.
According to an official at Rochester Public Schools, one door will be open that will lead directly to the voting area so the public and students aren’t crossing paths. At this time they have no plans to close school on Election Day.