Patch's Poll: Should Schools Be Closed On Election Day?

Many towns in Connecticut have no school today - should schools be used as polling places?

Many school districts in Connecticut are using today to offer staff development programs for teachers - and having students stay at home - as some schools are used as polling places for the election.

Because Friday is Veterans' Day, a national holiday with no school, that means for many students a three-day "work" week, and for many parents a day-care nightmare.

What do you think? Should schools be used as polling places for election? And if so, is it safe to still have students in class that day? Take our poll and add your thoughts in the comments.

Michael Hubbard November 08, 2011 at 09:13 PM
With all that is going on on election day, IE: Traffic from the electorate arriving and leaving. supporters coming and going, I feel having schools closed adds a safety cushion to the students. Mix too many autos with too many students and you have a recipe for an accident. I would rather err on the safe side!
Sharon Pealer November 08, 2011 at 09:58 PM
Schools should be closed on election day. The disruption to the daily schedule is enough to make it quite difficult for teachers to keep the students attention. In Ledyard the gymnasium is the room used for elections and many of the children both need and enjoy the physical break offered by phys ed classes. The weather today might not have been a deterrrent to outside activities, but much of the State just recovered from a major snowfall. This weather cannot be depended upon every time we need to vote.
Matt November 08, 2011 at 10:37 PM
If the elections are not being held in a school, than there is absolutely 110% no reason to close school for the day. Election day is not a holiday, and it is not a day off for anyone anywhere. If the voting is being held at a school and it is causing an interruption, then it sounds like they need find a new place to do the voting.
BJ November 08, 2011 at 11:32 PM
Why are we still in the dark ages? Want to improve voter turn out? How about moving to the 21st century! Ever heard of the internet? Why do we still vote the way it was done hundreds of years ago? PLEASE do not say "fraud" or "hacking" (that will only out your ignorance to both technology and to what can and does happen in the 'old school' way it is done today).
John Martin November 08, 2011 at 11:48 PM
In a lot of schools - especially the elementary schools - the polling occurs in rooms that are needed when school is in session. These 'multi-purpose' rooms often serve as a gym and cafeteria. Add the congestion and the fact that children really shouldn't be exposed to a large number of adults who are not verified and vetted as safe to be around our children...I say close the schools. One incident with a kid would be too high a price to pay for convenience. If there is another venue that could serve - move it. Unfortunately, our schools really are the most convenient sites.
resident November 09, 2011 at 12:04 AM
I agree with Matt if the school is not being used for voting then why do the kids need the day off? They have enough time off with vacations, snow days, and Holidays and end up going to school as it is until the end of June. If a town uses the school for voting then yes closing them is the best thing otherwise let them stay in school where they belong.
Cathy Cook November 09, 2011 at 12:51 AM
No! Do not close schools on Election Day. If voting is disruptive to education, then move the polling place. Teachers should all hold a class discussion about the right and obligation to vote. Too many have died to preserve our right to vote.
Laura Bencivengo November 09, 2011 at 12:54 AM
In Clinton, we all vote at the Town Hall.............why would we close the schools?
Susan November 09, 2011 at 12:57 AM
Because so many voting places are located in schools, it became necessary to close the schools to students on election day as a way to protect the students. There were/are many concerns over the safety of the students with unlimited access by the public to the schools. Sad, isn't it?
Sarah November 09, 2011 at 01:47 AM
Parking is also an issue.
LadyMaMa November 09, 2011 at 05:49 PM
I can see closing the schools during a presidential election year because of the number of voters. Other than once every four years, the schools should remain open. Not enough people actually vote in the municipal and state elections to cause traffic problems and unsafe conditions at schools. If the kids have to eat in their classrooms on that one day or miss P.E. for a day, so be it. It's a great opportunity to teach them about the election process in general.
Katherine Makuchowski November 09, 2011 at 11:05 PM
I agree with the way Ledyard has their system. The students do not attend and the teachers do an inservice. I do not like the idea of every random person entering the school while my child is there. I do think that the teachers should use the day off as a point of discussion to talk about the importance of voting. For school systems where the buildings are not used, school should be in session.
Patsy Crothers November 10, 2011 at 03:11 AM
I know there was voting going on while school was in session when Cathy Cook was at Butler and I'm sure there wasn't a problem then why should there be now?Why are people so afraid there kids will be harmed,they're in class with other students and teachers,get with the program.Cathy,what do you remember?
samantha michaele andrade November 05, 2012 at 03:56 AM
I think schools should be closed on Election Day because there are school signs that say on the sixth there will be no school so i say there shall be no school on Election Day.
Michael November 05, 2012 at 12:49 PM
We have town hall, the senior center and the surf club to vote at. Why have the voting stations in schools at all (for many of the good reasons stated above). In any event, when my students can go to DHHS and be allegedly threatened with weapons, purchase drugs, watch fights in the cafatorium but only get math and science two of the three trimesters we should close the schools less and open the minds of the parents whom seem satisfied with this reality.
Michael November 05, 2012 at 12:54 PM
p.s. I just read that Guilford (with their higher preforming schools and full years of math and science). Are staying open during the election. To quote the New Haven Register article "Board of Education Chairman William Bloss said Saturday that officials felt it was important to try to make up one of the school days lost due to Hurricane Sandy. “Having lost five days to the storm, it’s a day we can’t afford to not have classes,”


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