Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect a clarification.
Believing that voting in the schools is no longer an educational opportunity and focusing on making Port Washington and Saukville a safer place for kids, school officials are moving forward with putting an end to voting in the district's buildings.
School Board members spoke highly in favor of ending voting in schools during a late January meeting, and a district committee has now recommended it be discontinued for "security reasons," according to an Ozaukee Press article. The discussion of improving safety procedures in the district has been ongoing tragedy shook an elementary school in Newtown, CT, in December.
"For me, this (decision) is really easy," board member Sarah McCutcheon said of disallowing voting to take place in the schools during the January meeting. "I think there's another way that we can teach our kids about voting besides opening our doors and having (such public interaction) … I have absolutely no [reservations] about saying the time has come for us to find (a new place)."
The decision was made at a committee level, and will need a formal vote from the School Board. However, all board members were present at the committee meeting and spoke strongly in favor of the end of voting in schools, Superintendent Michael Weber said. Weber has since spoken to Grams, who asked for some time to find a new location, which is why the city won't need a spot until next year.
Weber will relay this to the committee, and it will likely see a formal vote in March, though Weber did say it is a "logical" assumption that the idea will be approved.
Two buildings in the Port Washington-Saukville School District — Dunwiddie Elementary and Thomas Jefferson Middle School — are used as polling locations during elections in Port Washington. The buildings will be used during Tuesday's primary election, the Ozaukee Press article said, and also during the April election as students will be on spring break. With no fall elections, the city has about a year to find new locations.
City Administrator Mark Grams said he has been with the city for nearly 27 years, and voting has always taken place in those school buildings; to change the location, a spot within the voting districts would need to be found.
"It's something we'd have to seriously look at to see if there's anything" inside the district with enough parking, he said.
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