Scranton Schools Open on Election Day

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Many students in the Scranton School District were taught a hands-on civics lesson Tuesday as their schools doubled as polling places.

The district is usually closed on Election Day, but administrators decided to make up a snow day instead.

On this beautiful May day, students at Kennedy Elementary School on Prospect Avenue in Scranton are making up a snow day, leading to a rare occurrence: school on Election Day.

The district is usually closed for elections since several of the district's school buildings serve as polling places.

Kennedy's cafeteria turned into a place to cast ballots and the school district provided a Lackawanna County sheriff's deputy to make sure no voters came in contact with students.

"The armed deputy is in between where the students are and where the voters do have access to the building," explained principal Nathan Barrett.

It was an early dismissal day for the Scranton School District while students were busy boarding buses, elections officials were finding it hard to stay busy.

Judge of Elections Kathy Bufford says turnout has been low.

"A lot of people don't like the choices out there and they're just not coming out. Or if they do, you know, they're kind of complaining when they get the ballot."

But the logistics of sharing the school on this Election Day went smoothly and provided a bit of a civics lesson for the students.

"They had a lot of questions and we were able to capitalize on this, that was originally scheduled off, we were able to capitalize on it as a teachable moment," said Barrett.

Teachers and elections officials encouraged the kids to come back when their parents come to vote. The polls close across the state at 8 p.m.

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