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Police Presence in Cedar Rapids School Vote Centers
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Across the corridor voters are making decisions about how local school districts will be run, and how much money they may have to do it.
In Linn County voters will decide on whether to double its mill levy and pick new school board members, but some of those voters also got a surprise.
Linn county elections consolidated all the polling places for the Cedar Rapids school district into five voting centers.
Nearly all are in schools, so today voters got a surprise when they arrived to cast a ballot, a police officer.
At the outset, the change from polling places to polling centers was a bit strange.
"It's a little different. I'm used to the individual voting places that are near your home. This is not difficult but it's just a little bit further to go, said John Ulmer who came out to vote.
"I thought it was a little odd. I didn't even know where the schools were to be honest, said David Werner, who also came out to vote.
To save money, the county consolidated 50 polling places to five vote centers, but because they're all in schools.
"I decided to do that based upon what had happened nationally in Sandy Hook. Some of the worse things that seem to happen seem to occur at schools, said Linn County Auditor, Joel Miller.
Miller says that's why he requested the presence of officers.
Its the first time this has ever happened in the county and the voters we spoke to say the $43 an hour cost at each center is worth it.
"If there's a benefit to having them here, then they belong here, said Ulmer.
In Johnson County voting this election was moved completely out of local schools to community centers.
It's something Linn County has already done, just not completely.
"I don't anticipate we'll be moving out of too many more schools over the next seven years before we have another redistricting, said Miller.
He also says he's looking for feedback on whether voters think the officers are a good idea.
Meanwhile, voting on all the elections in Eastern Iowa closes at eight tonight.