Sen. Niemeyer has introduced SB 116 which would protect kids from being exposed to civics. Specifically, this would prohibit schools from being used as voting sites during elections. That’s just smart. Everyone knows that voting is a gateway to other kinds of civic participation. First the kids see voting – next thing you know, they’ll be volunteering, exercising their First Amendment rights, paying their taxes and god knows what else. Better to nip this in the bud by keeping polling places away from schools.
The fiscal note indicates that in the 2016 general election, about 10% of polling places were at schools. I know that when West Lafayette had its education tax rate referendum, it was a special election where the referendum was the only issue on the ballot. By using the schools as polling places, the school system was able to keep the costs of the election down. I don’t know what problem the Senator thinks he’s solving here, but if school corporations think they can accommodate polling places and county officials want to put them there, then I don’t see that the General Assembly needs to inject itself into the decision making on this one.