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10/29/2019

Officials look to enhance security, parking management for polling at High School Nov. 5

Voters can expect to see heightened security when they go to the polls at Cape Elizabeth High School Nov. 5, 2019.

School will not be in session that day, but officials are planning a dry run for when students are in school on election days to follow.

Matthew Sturgis, town manager, reported on the plan during the Town Council's meeting Oct. 16. "What we're looking to do is try to find a way to provide a greater level of security because it does take place at the High School in the gymnasium," Sturgis said.

Every year since 2016, and in presential-election years before then, the school calendar has earmarked the first Tuesday in November as a staff-only day. Students are however in school on other election days, and will be for the presidential primary March 3, and for the state primary and school budget validation June 9. "Then again the presidential election which will take place next November," said Sturgis, although the school's 2020-2021 calendar has yet to be finalized.

Officials for the town, school and Police Department have been working on strategies to contain voters within polling areas, Sturgis said. "So if you see additional security this Nov. 5 at the schools please don't be alarmed we're just trying to find a few different ways to test and adjust to see what would be the best methods to use," Sturgis said.

Officials are also looking for ways to better manage parking, Sturgis said. He cited Election Day last fall, when a lacrosse playoff game filled the lot and left many frustrated voters looking for a place to park.