Special Reports

US Schools Cancel Classes Due to Election-related Fears


Schools are popular polling places all over the United States, but for fear of election-related troubles, some schools designated as polling centers will cancel their classes.

The U.S. Department of Education doesn't keep track of the schools that will be closed for the elections, but various schools have already closed due to concerns related to the occasion, reports the Chicago Tribune.

School officials in various areas, such as in Easton, Penn., have closed their schools after parent's raised their safety concerns regarding this election. Sara Andriotis, a mother in the said area, has pushed for voting to be taken out of local schools.

"We were mostly concerned because of the risk that it puts our children in," Andriotis told the Associated Press.

In Cook County, about one-third of the schools that designated as polling places will be closed on Nov. 8, said Nick Shield, spokesman for the Cook County clerk's office. Shield added that he was not aware of any election-related problems that surfaced among schools that remain open.

Widespread closure

According to state and local officials, either voting has been removed from or classes have been cancelled in election day in schools located in Illinois, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Penn., Wisconsin, and other areas.

National Association of Secretaries of State election committee co-chairman and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp told the AP that there is much concern about the safety of polling locations, as compared to decades ago.

What if someone walks in a polling location with a backpack bomb or something?" Kemp said. "If that happens at a school, then that's certainly concerning."

Yet despite the rising concern, the National Association of Secretaries of State does not recommend stationing armed guards or police around polling centers, as their presence might negatively affect voters.

Still, other election officials state that schools are crucial polling places, and the removal of schools as places to vote adds trouble and confusion to the voting public.

"We wouldn't be able to conduct voting without them," Pam Anderson, Colorado County Clerks Association executive director, said.

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