Feb 16, 2024 - News

Polk County Election office vandalism leads to new security

A photo of the Polk County Election office.

This former paper store building has been used as the Polk County Election Office for nearly 40 years. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

An intrusion detection system is being installed at the downtown Polk County Election office.

Why it matters: It's in response to a possible attempted break-in during the November 2023 election cycle, Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald tells Axios.

Catch up fast: Somebody kicked the office's front door just before the election, spiderwebbing its glass.

  • The person did not gain entry to the building and their intentions remain unknown, Fitzgerald says.
  • There have been no arrests.

What's happening: The door was quickly repaired but the incident prompted a security review.

  • There are now plans to replace the door with one that has less glass and install a new monitoring system.

State of play: The improvements, estimated to cost just over $22,000, are anticipated to be completed before the June 4 primary election.

Plus, the office will likely seek a dedicated security employee during election time, Fitzgerald told supervisors in a budget hearing last month.

What we're watching: The election office also needs to undergo renovations to accommodate bigger crowds because of recent state laws that narrow where and when people vote, Fitzgerald says.

  • Polk County Supervisor's Chairperson Angela Connolly told Fitzgerald during last month's meeting that she's willing to consider relocating the office to another larger downtown site.
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