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Schools closed for Election Day

Parents, school administrators, voters — and especially kids — are happy about one feature of this Election Day.

Public schools in Broward and Palm Beach counties will be closed.

In Broward, 122 of 450 polling places are in schools. In Palm Beach County, 89 of the 463 polling places are in schools.

“We all get a little bit nervous mixing general public and students on campus. And the principals get extremely nervous,” said Susan Bucher, Palm Beach County supervisor of elections.

Bucher said she worked with the School District’s calendar committee to move a teacher work day to Election Day.

It’s a boon for people who want to vote on their way to work, when parents would be dropping off kids on days school is in session. That makes maneuvering and parking especially tricky, Bucher said.

Brenda Snipes, a retired school district administrator, said having kids off from school on election days was a priority of hers when she became Broward supervisor of elections in 2003.

“Schools were concerned about all these people coming into the premises and how they would process them. There was such a mixture with adults and students and parents and buses. So we worked with the school district and with the union,” she said. “We use over 100 schools.”

An added benefit: A pool of student workers on Election Day. Snipes said some high school students are being trained as poll workers, and their pay is helping schools raise money.

ELECTION INFO: Available at state and county offices.

The Broward Supervisor of Elections Office has information at http://www.browardsoe.org or by phone at 954-357-7050. Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections office has information at http://www.pbcelections.org or 561-656-6200. Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, 6 a.m. to approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The state Division of Elections toll-free hotline, at 866-308-6739, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. The toll-free number for the Florida Relay Service for voters with speech, vision and hearing difficulties is 800-955-8771.

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