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Columbia Public Schools to close for Election Day

Thursday, October 30, 2008 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:02 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 30, 2008

COLUMBIA — All schools in the Columbia Public School District will be closed Tuesday for Election Day.

This is the first year that students will not have class because schools are used as polling places. The decision to close schools on Election Day was approved in March when the yearly calendar was made. A teacher work day is scheduled for the elementary schools. Teachers will be using the time to prepare for conferences on Nov. 14. The secondary schools are having a teacher collaboration day.

"The polling places are disruptive to students, and we anticipated that this year would be very active," said Lynn Barnett, assistant superintendent for student services.

Student safety was also a consideration, Barnett said. The schools have a hard time monitoring who comes in and out of the buildings during times of high voter traffic.

"We've long hoped the schools would do this," Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said. "It is better for voters, better for kids and better for parents."

The Missouri County Clerks Association supported legislation that would make it mandatory for schools to be closed during polling. The law did not pass.

Noren said she thrilled that the district took action on its own.

Noren said no other polling places have changed regular operating hours for the day.

For a complete list of polling places in Boone County, go to the County Clerk Web page.


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