Indiana lawmaker wants to prohibit voting at schools

Politics

INDIAIANPOLIS (WISH) – A state lawmaker does not want your child’s school to be a polling place on Election Day.

In fact, he is pushing a bill through the Statehouse to make it so. 

School safety is one of the big reasons why Sen. Rick Niemeyer wants this bill.

Election Day 2018 was a holiday for Indianapolis Public Schools, but many students are in class statewide on Election Day. 

“We’re inviting people to come in, probably unsecured a little bit, going on the grounds, going inside gymnasiums and really don’t do much identification until they get to the table to show they’re an eligible voter in that precinct.” the Republican from Lowell said.

Niemeyer would rather voters cast ballots inside a local fire station, public library or municipal building instead of a school. He said his bill starts the polling place conversation.

“If you have someone that has some motivation of doing something that should not be done, it’s really pretty easy on that day to gain access to the grounds,” Niemeyer said. “I know some schools have security, and they hire some security officers, and that helps.” 

Some voters shared their thoughts. 

“I guess I would disagree.” Ethan Jones of Indianapolis said.

Teresa Davis’ polling place is inside a school. “I don’t see the big deal about voting at a school,” she said. “It’s more convenient for a lot of parents, or people that work.” 

Mark Roberson voted inside a church but said he likes the idea of the bill.

“I think that’s a very valid point. Normally, on a school day, I believe there’s always a security system in place,” Roberson said. “You have to show ID, etc., to gain access. Why should it be any different on Election Day?” 

Niemeyer said he will know the status of his bill and where it stands in the coming days.

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