State Assembly Bill Looks at Taking Voting Day Out of Schools
The bill would require schools to have written security plans in place if voting must take place on school grounds.
The Newtown, CT. tragedy has changed the way New Jersey looks at security in schools, including on voting day.
A bill introduced by Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) would mandate districts have a written security plan when polling takes place on school grounds, and voting should only take place in schools if absolutely necessary.
Marlboro Superintendent Dr. David Abbott said the problem now is that a current law forces any institution which accepts state money be open as a polling location.
"I can't tell you what's going to happen with that bill," Abbott said at a Jan. 15 meeting. "It's under a lot of pressure from counties, the state, municipalities and so on."
The topic of voting during school hours on school grounds was reportedly spoken about at a January PTO/PTA meeting and within the School Safety and Security Task Force, according to board member Bonnie Sue Rosenwald.
Abbott said as administrators look at the 2013-14 calendar, not having school on voting days or declaring a staff inservice is an option.
"Or, we would have an extra guard in that area," Abbott said.
Currently, Marlboro is within a 90-day trial period of having one armed police officer in each district school. After 90 days, Abbott and the board will look over a security assessment and make future recommendations for the district.
Abbott said primary elections on June 4 will continue to be a full session day for students, but the district will provide extra security during voting hours.