The best-laid plans of women and men have been stymied by the coronavirus pandemic, and now one more item can be added to that list.
The Guilford County school system has nixed plans to transport students to the polls to vote in the 2020 general election – which will determine a variety of heated races at the local, state and federal level.
Guilford County Schools caused something of an uproar when school leaders made a decision to bus students to the polls to vote this year. The school system did so for the pre-COVID-19 primary in March. However, given the current pandemic, there will be no such action for the Nov. 3 general election.
That could be especially important in a year when there is a $300 million school bond referendum on the ballot, and it stands to reason that students would have been likely to vote for that bond.
When asked on Friday, Oct. 16 if the school system would implement the program for the upcoming election, Wanda Edwards, the director of communications for Guilford County Schools, stated that schools wouldn’t be busing students to the voting places either during early voting or on Election Day.
“We are not transporting students to polls,” Edwards wrote in an email in response to a query from the Rhino Times.
She added that the school system will still discuss democracy and the process of voting as part of the learning experience.
“We have embedded participation in democracy and the voting process into our curriculum offerings aligned with the state standards,” Edwards wrote.
On Friday, Election Director Charlie Collicutt stated that he was not aware of the schools plans.
“I really don’t know,” he said on Friday of the schools plans to bus students to the polls. “They had started communicating with us about the possibility during late summer, but I think that seemed to kind of fade off.”
During the primary, the schools’ actions required some coordination with the elections department since the department had to do things like make sure there were enough poll workers to handle bus loads of students showing up at once.