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Update: Due to high voter turnout expected at polling places on Super Tuesday, the WJCC School Division has decided to open schools two hours late March 1.
School staff will monitor hallways at the 11 schools serving as polling places in order to “restrict contact” between students and voters, according to a statement from spokeswoman Betsy Overkamp-Smith.
Additionally, there will be designated entrances and parking areas for voters at each school polling place.
Overkamp-Smith reiterated the recommendation of JCC General Registrar Dianna Moorman to have students take the bus or carpool to school.
Katherine Goff, spokeswoman for the York County School Division, wrote in an email that there are no plans to have a delayed opening at this time.
School staff have provided tours to representatives from the county’s registrar’s office to “help ensure a smooth process while students are in the building,” Goff wrote.
Eleven of York’s 13 polling places are schools, General Registrar Walt Latham said.
The James City County Registrar’s Office is urging families to plan ahead for the March 1 presidential primary, as schools will be open to students and function as polling places for voters.
Dianna Moorman, James City County General Registrar and Director of Elections, said 11 of the 18 polling places in the county are schools.
Schools are traditionally closed to students on Election Day in November, but they are open in March for the presidential primary and in June if a primary is held.
Moorman said families should avoid dropping off or picking up their children by car, as campaigning will impede traffic around the school building. She recommended children carpool or take the bus to school.
“Avoid the fuss, take the bus,” Moorman said.
She said reduced speed zones will be enforced the entire day, not just during school hours, and police officers will be on hand to assist with arrival and dismissal.
For voters, Moorman recommended they cast their ballots between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which is historically the lowest turnout time, or after 5 p.m.
“That will help relieve the traffic situations in the parking lot so students can be dropped off and also be picked up and there won’t be as much of an overlap,” Moorman said.
The polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Voters must bring a valid photo ID, which could be a Virginia driver’s license or another government ID.