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Parents call school doubling as polling place a safety hazard

Posted at 11:17 PM, Nov 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-06 23:17:40-05

Some parents are calling a local polling place a safety hazard for children.

Holt Junior High School at 1784 N Aurelius Rd. doubled as a polling place for the midterm election Tuesday.

"It was a scary day to be at school," said Jamie Pollitt whose daughter attends Holt Junior High School. "I think it's common sense that we just don't have strangers, a mass amount of people coming to vote when our children are vulnerable," Pollitt said.

Students may be separated from voters at other schools that double as a polling place, but Politt said that's not the case at Holt Junior High. Kids have to pass through voting crowds to get to class.

Barb Byrum, the clerk of Ingham County, said the local clerk and election commission choose polling locations, but it's not always easy.

"It's difficult to find locations that are accessible and that are willing to be open for an election. It's very difficult for those clerks to find those locations," Byrum said.

But Pollitt said she thinks safety should come above everything. "There are a lot of empty buildings in Holt that we could've put them in. There's a police station, there's a huge library. There are places other than school that we can put all of these voters."

Instead, Pollitt thinks schools should just be cancelled on election day.

Byrum said that it's up to the school district whether or not they want to close or remain open during an election.

Pollitt added that if the school remains open, then there should be increased security such as police officers, instead of more teachers and staff.

FOX 47 News did reach out to David Hornak, Superintendent of Holt Public Schools for comment, but he was unavailable.