Lynx Gymnasium to be used as a polling place on Election Day


Kaitlyn Richardson

Photo taken by Kaitlyn Richardson.

Due to construction and potential flooding at Broadway Methodist church, ALHS was announced as a polling site for the 2020 presidential election.

The timely decision came as a surprise to Assistant Principal Jeff Novotony.

“I didn’t even know we were up for a voting place,” said Novotony. “I think what the county did is they went to Dr. (Vickie) Murillo and said, ‘Hey, we are about a week and a half before the election, we need a place big enough to handle this, and she said, ‘well, AL has the best facility.”

Of course, in order to conduct a safe polling site for voters, it was essential to protect the safety of both students and voters.

“Her (Murillo’s) main thought process was where can I put voters and have kids and some separation,” Novotony said. “She thought of the Lynx Gym.”
Abraham Lincoln decided on the separation of voters and students, as well as the option to do school virtually with the intention of ensuring the safety of everyone.

It was stated in an article by the Des Moines Register that masks will not be required at voting places, and that “Election officials cannot require voters to wear masks at polling locations on Election Day”. This would include the polling place inside ALHS. 

Although some safety solutions have been put in place where possible, parking appears to be another potential issue.

“Parking is gonna be a big issue that day, I’m just being honest, not for just voters, for kids,” said Novotony. “We’re encouraging kids to know that and be patient with that.”

The busyness of the Abraham Lincoln parking lot could also be determined on the time voters chose to come in, and the number of total voters.

“You could think of it as maybe so many people are already voting, maybe Election Day won’t be as big or maybe that many more people are voting and election day is still gonna be busy,” Novotony said. “Polls open at 7 so we are preparing for a lot of people so when kids come to school at 7:15, 7:30, there’s going to be limited parking kids are gonna have to be patient.”

AL has already cleared up any potential conflict between voters, students, and after school activities as well.

“The biggest disruption is after school activities which we’re between seasons so there isn’t a lot except open gyms going on right now. I talked to the basketball coaches, wrestling coaches, ROTC, 21st Century clubs they all know we aren’t doing anything that night,” said Novotony.  “There’s no late bus so hopefully just go home at 3:10 and kinda free up the parking lot for the voters.”

Although early parking could be a potential issue, Novotony urges everyone to be patient.

“We are worried about the parking,” Novotny said. “Everyone’s gonna be patient, not just voters, but also students.”