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School Security Must Be Protected During Elections, Says Par-Troy Parent

Have something to say? Patch wants to hear it.

I  am writing  in regard to a security issue that I personally observed while voting at Intervale School during the referendum vote on Tuesday.

Toward the end of 2012, Intervale PTA members expressed concerns to the school regarding election day voting procedures.  Specifically, we addressed the issue that the front doors to the school were left unsecured allowing full access to the school so that people can vote. 

The PTA provided a solution to the security breach by suggesting that the back entrances to the gym be used as the primary entrance to for voters.  When this suggestion was made, it was to close to the general election and the changes could not be implemented. (Amazingly, despite the claims that it was too late, changes could still be made after the hurricane and a state of emergency was declared). This never was an issue for the November general election due to the fact that the state of emergency was in effect and the polling places were moved to Town Hall being that Intervale School was without power and the school was closed.  

After the election passed,  we were assured that the change in the entrance area  was approved for future elections. At Tuesday's election, I saw that the changes were not made. At 2 p.m, when the polls opened, the front doors to the school were unlocked and anyone who came to the front door was directed to the voting place.  

This is totally unacceptable and the Board of Education needs to address this issue to ensure that this does not happen in future elections.   

I am not sure who is to blame for this security breach.   I contacted the township clerk's office, where I learned that this was a Board Of Education election and that the office has no control of the security issues.   

As a concerned  parent, I will go on record and say that  I hope this never happens again.   If changes are not made and the Parsippany Board of Education can not provide a safe and secure environment for my children, then when school is in session during an election day, my children will not be sent to school.  

I don't know how other schools handle election day voting, but as a concerned parent, I will say that the doors to the school should be locked and access should not be granted to the general public to facilitate voting. 

I hope this issue can be quickly resolved and that you can ensure that my children as well as the other children in Intervale will be provided with a safe environment for future elections.  After seeing what transpired Tuesday, I am not confident that the Parsippany School Board could guarantee this. 

This request is not unreasonable and the Board Of Education needs to  put the safety of our children first rather than trying to accommodate an election.  I hope the board can implement change and  be able to tell me that my children will be safe in the next election. 

As a final thought, when the workers for an election are assigned to  the school, are you aware that the only requirement to be a worker is that you are a registered voter?    To my knowledge, there is no criminal background check required for these people that have access to the school.   This is also a major breach in security knowing that there may be people with criminal backgrounds working in the school as election officials.  

Andrew Sadowski
Parsippany 

clyde donovan January 23, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Just move the polling places to firehouses so people like Sadowski don't demand each school be protected by Seal Team 6 during elections.
Par4theCourse January 23, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Spot on, Clyde.
Nancy January 23, 2013 at 09:20 PM
All elections should be done elsewhere. I have been saying this for years.
Monica Sclafani January 24, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Clyde & Par4 - you can get a laugh out of this after what happened in Ct.? There's nothing wrong with wanting our schools to be as protected as they can be. If that means making sure a few more doors are locked, background checks are done or the elections are moved elsewhere, so be it.
Par4theCourse January 24, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Monica, once again you are missing the point. What I propose is moving these types of elections to the firehouses. Nobody is disrepecting the newton tradegy. Nice try but that exploitation does not apply to this thread.
Monica Sclafani January 24, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Par4 - I suppose Clyde's statement about "Seal Team 6", which you thought was "spot on", wasn't meant to be something to get a little chuckle out of. If I misinterpreted the statement, I apologize. In any case, I agree with you. Elections should be moved out of the schools if the safety of the kids can't be guaranteed.
Par4theCourse January 24, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Have a wonderful night, Monica.
Monica Sclafani January 24, 2013 at 10:09 PM
You too! : )
Annie January 30, 2013 at 03:10 AM
I agree the voting should be moved to a place that keeps the children safe, all children, K-12. Why can't they be at the firehouse, town hall, bd of ed building, libraries? Why do they have to be at the schools?

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