Legislation could provide day off or remote learning on certain election days

Election day could soon be a day off for Idaho’s K-12 students. House bill 209 would allow schools to take the day off or have a virtual school day. as more Idaho schools continue to serve as polling locations.

The sponsor of the bill says this is being done in an effort to keep students safe, during elections as more people head to their local school polling places.

The bill’s statement of purpose says it’s to provide students safety and adequate polling locations on election days. The concern is that during election days people are typically present on school grounds that are not typically there during school hours. The sponsor of the bill says this addresses the need for more polling locations and the need to keep students safe.

Secretary of State, Phil McGrane says it would support the high number of in-person voters.

“There are parts of the state where in-person voting has become a challenge to find adequate spaces that meet all the requirements,” McGrane said. “One of the resounding messages that we’ve received as election officials is the importance of election day voting.”

McGrane says 70% of voting in Idaho takes place on election day. All the testimony heard Wednesday morning was in support of the legislation. The bill was sent to the house floor, for more debate.


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