Anticipating high voter turnout on Election Day, Johnston County has called off classes at the two schools serving as polling places.
Citing traffic concerns and large numbers of unsupervised and unfamiliar people, Nov. 8 will now be a teacher workday for East Clayton and River Dell Elementary schools, keeping students at home but teachers and school staff at work.
The Johnston County Board of Elections encouraged the schools to consider canceling classes on Election Day, said Ross Renfrow, superintendent of schools. “Because it is a hotly contested presidential race, they feel that ... they’ll see record voter turnout in these precincts,” he said.
Election officials also suggested that more schools could become polling places for future elections, Renfrow said. “As we continue to grow at such a rapid pace, there are very few sites across Johnston County that can accommodate the requirements of being a polling place,” he said. “Fortunately for (the board of elections) our school sites do. But as (the board of education) has said, not at the risk of our students.”
Renfrow signaled to his cabinet that Election Day will become a workday at polling place schools going forward.
Election Day had been on the calendar as an early-release day, with students leaving around 1:30 p.m. East Clayton and River Dell students will make up the lost time on Feb. 23.
Drew Jackson: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104; @jdrewjackson