POLK COUNTY, IOWA — Voters around the metro let their voices be heard on Tuesday’s election with a turnout that was higher than usual for city and school elections.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said in a statement, “More than 425,000 Iowans made their voices heard. Unofficial results show we easily surpassed the turnout from 2019, which was the first year the city-school election was combined.”
School board issues are what drew voters to the polls this election season, with mask mandate issues being in the center of it all.
A newcomer in the Southeast Polk School board won her election by a slim margin of 6 votes. Whitney Smith Mcintosh beat JC Ruddy by that vote count. Ruddy and Mcintosh shared a large portion of the voting base in the school district because of where they stand on certain issues.
“I am not a proponent of vaccine mandates either,” Mcintosh said. “I am not a proponent of any mandate really. The family makes the decision for their children and the school works within that decision being made.”
Southeast Polk has a mask requirement for those in pre-K through 6th grade. She wants to get a new vote going on the requirement. Mcintosh also wants the district to be more transparent with their dollars and what they allocate towards certain projects.
In Johnston, Clint Evan, Deb Davis, and Derek Tidball all won 16% of the vote and filled up those three school board seats. Those candidates were back by political action committees which is unique in school board elections as they are traditionally non partisan.
In Waukee Lori Lyon retained her seat and also picked up the most votes out of any other candidate. Jaime Secory, Michael Schrodt and Armel R Traore Dit Nignan all are newcomers and fill out the last three Waukee school board seats.
Ankeny saw another clean sweep as Joy Burk, Trent Murphy and Sarah Barthole all won the election. Those three had collaborated with each other during campaigning as they share the same viewpoints.
New faces in a lot of school districts in the area could mean some changes are coming for families and their children.