Kansas county no longer using schools as polling places

Security concerns cited as reason

June 28, 2018 - 5:06 pm

An eastern Kansas county will no longer use public schools as polling places due to security reasons.

The Douglas County Clerk's Office sent letters this week to the more than 10,000 affected voters who will now be assigned to different polling places than they've used in the past, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

County Clerk Jamie Shew said Wednesday he made the change after Lawrence school district officials expressed concerns over allowing people easy access in and out of school buildings while classes were in session.

"Now that we have put secure entrances in all of our buildings, we are finding it very difficult to provide an adequate level of security at the elementary buildings during polling," said Ron May, the district's operations director, in a December 2016 email to Shew. "We also find it difficult to provide appropriate spaces that (weren't) causing a disruption to the school day."

Shew said his office tried working with school officials to keep using school buildings because many neighborhoods are having difficulty finding alternative sites that could be used as polling places. The office was able to find other sites for most precincts that were using schools as polling places, but there will be some cases this year in which multiple precincts must consolidate into a single polling place, he said.

Kansas primary elections will be held Aug. 7. The general election is Nov. 6.

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