Voting Concerns Raised During Lockdown at Superior School
Focus Group Being Created After School Lockdown During Voting
An event Tuesday, April 7th resulted in several buildings within the School District of Superior being placed in what was termed “hold and secure” mode including the Superior Middle School which is also a polling location for the 1st and 3rd city council districts.
According to the School District, “A threat was made to a staff member, as well as toward unnamed members of the administration at the Board Office. The threat was verbal without any physical actions or weapons. Nonetheless, according to District policy any threat is always taken seriously.”
School buildings that may have been at risk were also immediately secured.
An arrest was made of the person alleged to have made the threat a short time later.
As soon as the building went into hold and secure mode, a handful of people entering the building to vote were informed they needed to exit the building.
Within minutes a uniformed police officer was posted at the voting door entrance and voting resumed.
Several people have questioned why the polling place entrance remained open while the rest of building remained in hold and secure mode.
That decision was made by the District and Police Department after assessing the situation.
Contingency plans were in place to relocate the polling location if officials determined the situation was of a more serious nature.
This event has raised several concerns about using schools as polling locations.
Selecting the right polling locations is an important part of the voting process.
Polling places must be sufficiently large, accommodating of voters with disabilities, appropriately staffed, adequately supplied, and in accessible locations.
Due to their space, low costs, prevalence, and accessibility, municipalities have predominantly used schools, rather than other sites, as polling places.
Because of tragic shootings at schools across the country, security is a real concern when designating schools as polling places.
Mayor Hagen will be putting together a focus group comprised of City and School District officials, City Councilors and members of the community to review different options.
The safety of our citizens and especially children will continue to be highest priority.