Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Conflict over polling place to push end of school to May 26th

Sebree Elementary unavailable for classes on Election Day

J-E Editor
Until last week’s snowfall, Webster County Schools were on track for a May 18, 2015 last day of classes, but 13 inches of snow changed those plans. Now district officials are eyeing a May 26 end date.

Make-up days will be March 20 and May 18, 20, 21 and 22. That leaves one remaining day to be made-up. May 19 is election day, and since the county uses Sebree Elementary as one of it’s polling places, the district is unable to have classes on that day. 
Webster County DPP Todd Marshall is hopeful that County Clerk Valerie Newell will consider moving that polling place, which would allow the school to use May 19 as a make-up day. That would mean the last day of classes would be the 22. Otherwise, school will be closed on May 25 for Memorial Day, making May 26 the first possible day for the final day of classes.
“It’s up to the county officials to find an alternative polling place,” said Marshall. “That would be the best alternative for our students.”
However, according to Newell, that is really out of the question.
KRS 117.065 requires the county board of elections to establish the voting place for each precinct no later than September 20 of each year. A change to the voting venue after that date would require the county to pay to publish a notice in the newspaper, as well as mail notices to each of the 500 or so voters registered in that district.
When it comes to selecting polling places, the county can only choose locations which are accessible to all eligible voters, including those with physical limitations and the elderly. Each location also needs to have access to a phone line.
KRS 117.065 (2) gives the count clerk and the election board the authority to designate, at no cost, any building constructed with tax dollars as an official polling place. That makes any of the schools in the county available for election day.
Newell said that there were no adequate buildings in Sebree.
Some school districts will be using election day as a make-up day, but that is only allowed in counties where none of the district’s schools are being used as polling places.
 at 270-667-2068 or

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