Get The Vote Out?

This Bloomberg editorial about how the fear of gun violence is complicating efforts to use schools as polling places is unconvincing.  You could identify any of a host of social ills and make the same claim. In practice, interest groups, notably the teachers unions, like schools closed on election day because it’s easier to engage in political activity – especially get-out-the-vote work.  Meanwhile, unfortunately, if you’re going to have a bunch of people you don’t know in and out of a school you can understand why school officials would rather not have students around, and it’s not because of guns.

Schools are convenient places for voting given their proximity and layouts.  Yet they are not the only such places.  And there is a good reason to move polling out of schools and into other facilities: Education. Even excluding unplanned days off for inclement weather and such, students miss an awful lot of school for various days off.  From November through February five day weeks can be the exception rather than the norm.  American schools are not known for their excellent use of time. That, rather than any contrived concern, would be a good reason to have students in school the first Tuesday in November and have voters elsewhere.

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