Should Schools Close on Election Day?
The group looking into a uniform school calendar for Connecticut heard from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today about the need to close schools on Election Day. Merrill told the Uniform School Task Force Committee that, “because of increased security concerns for schools, many districts are closed on Election Day, and I would like to encourage that practice.”
According to Merrill, 105 schools and five regional schools close on Election Day, while 44 schools and 12 regional schools remain open.
Merrill said local municipalities are responsible for selecting polling locations based on specific criteria in Connecticut State Statutes, and schools tend to fit the criteria. She added that one-third of Connecticut towns are so small that they have only one voting precinct, and typically a school is the only place that fits the criteria for a polling site.
“Many schools are used on Election Day, and we would never want to prohibit towns from using schools as polling places,” she said.
Merrill continued, “More and more states and school districts are seeing the wisdom of closing school on election day. My recommendation is that towns close their schools on Election Day.”
The task force completed its work today and plans to have a draft recommendation to the committee members in two weeks and will then submit its final report to the legislature.
What do you think?
Should schools be closed on Election Day? Should the task force recommend a uniform school calendar for all Connecticut schools?