Schools used as polling places follow strict cleaning guidelines

Posted at 11:23 AM, Nov 04, 2020

Many schools across the country have put brand new cleaning and disinfecting procedures in place to welcome students back during the coronavirus pandemic. With Election Day, some schools prepared to welcome a new group of people: voters.

"We are the third district in the state of Kentucky. We are 15 minutes outside of Cincinnati so we are the southern suburb of Cincinnati, so we have 25 schools in Northern Kentucky in this district which, for 7 of them, almost one-third are being used as polling places," said Barbara Brady with Boone County Schools.

Boone County Schools prepped four high schools, two middle schools and one elementary school so voters could cast their ballots. A number of school districts nationwide will be doing the same, at a time when protecting students and the public from COVID-19 is a priority.

"Before, after and during. The spaces used are the gymnasiums so obviously it's a big open space. They’ll be cleaned and sanitized as they normally are even during school so it’ll be before, during and after because the kids will be back in school the next day," said Brady.

Boone County Schools and the county government will split the cost of a custodian to disinfect the polling area. In Madison, Wisconsin, City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl is providing each polling place, which includes schools, with a stipend to help with added cleaning costs. In Madison, poll workers will also help sanitize throughout the day.

"We did want to acknowledge that these facilities are stepping up and opening their doors to voters in the midst of a pandemic and will have some extra expenses because of that community commitment that they're making," said Witzel-Behl.

"There'll be hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, anything that anyone wants to use that’s in there while they’re voting, as well. So, they’ll at least have something to use if they feel someone just touched this instrument or table that I touched, they’ll have the option to use hand sanitizer or some antibacterial wipes," said Brady.

Brady says there was also a school resource officer on hand to ensure proper procedures were followed.