Fairfax Board of Supervisors has voted 9 to 1 to close all 167 schools in the county on March 1st for the primary election because they fear the reactions of Trump voters who might object to signing the oath of affiliation before receiving a Republican ballot. From the Washington Post,
If you say: ‘I don’t want to do it,’ I have to say: ‘You don’t get a ballot,’ ” Fairfax County Electoral Board Secretary Katherine K. Hanley told the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday before it voted to ask school officials to keep students home.
‘That’s what this provision is,’ said Hanley, a Democrat who chaired the county Board of Supervisors from 1995 to 2003 and later served in the cabinet of Gov. Tim Kaine (D). ‘That’s about as contentious as anything we can possibly be doing in a polling place on Election Day.’
Trump’s Virginia campaign chairman, Chairman of the Prince William County Board of supervisors, Corey Stewart, called the concerns “preposterous,” saying there have been no threats made over the affiliation requirement. He said,
This is just an attempt by Democrats and probably some establishment Republicans to malign and disparage Trump supporters and also to characterize conservative speech as hate speech.
Currently Fairfax schools are scheduled to open 2 hours late on election day to accommodate the expected large number of early morning voters. Fairfax Superintendent of Schools, Karen Garza, said the request to close schools came as a surprise and at this time she does not feel it necessary to close the schools for the entire day.
‘For many years, schools have been open and serving as polling locations without incident,’ Garza said in a statement. ‘We work closely with election officials, our security team and law enforcement to ensure the safety of all.’
In Loudoun, General Registrar Judy Brown said she’s having trouble getting volunteers for election day after scuffles and name calling at some Trump rallies.
‘We have had people saying they would prefer not to work the election,’ Brown said. She said she is talking to county officials about whether to implement extra security precautions but nothing has been decided.
Most election officials are concerned over the expected large crowds, and not the affiliation statement or Trump supporters, as well they should be. Democrats in Fairfax are overreacting in a typical effort to make Republicans, and particularly Trump supporters, look bad.