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.