WFISD schools to no longer be used as Wichita Co. polling locations

Wichita County will re-arrange the polling locations and proximity to make it easier on voters. (Source: KAUZ)
Wichita County will re-arrange the polling locations and proximity to make it easier on voters. (Source: KAUZ)

WICHITA COUNTY, Tx (RNN Texoma) - After the May elections in Wichita County, Wichita Falls I.S.D. schools won't be polling locations anymore.

WFISD officials said the decision boils down to the safety of their students and staff.

"Anything that keeps my kids safe I'm definitely for," WFISD parent, Aja Mills-Havins said.

When she heard people won't be allowed to vote at any of the district's schools after the May election, she was happy.

"Keeping extra people out of the schools would definitely reduce the risk factor because there's plenty of places in town where they can vote," Mills-Havins said.

WFISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt released the following statement to Newschannel 6:

"For the last several months we have been in detailed conversations with Wichita County officials regarding our safety concerns with the general public having open access to our school facilities during elections. We have been updating our access controls and security measures at the entrances to our buildings and have found it problematic to allow access to the public to a school library, for example, that is beyond our secure entrance vestibules. We will continue to work with Wichita County officials on this front following the May run-off election."

"I think the general voter, of course, is just there to vote," Parent, Lindsey Gerfaud said. "But I think there's also that idea of making sure people aren't finding out the security measures by just being there, finding out ways to get in and out or weaknesses."

Wichita County Commissioner Mark Beauchamp said they understand the district's decision, especially in this day in age.

"Right now we're kind of taking this as an opportunity to not only find new locations but maybe improve the overall ability for voters to go out and vote," Commissioner Beauchamp said.

Each commissioner will start looking at locations in their area and will work with party chairs and the County Clerk to come up with the best ones.

"We want people to be able to vote, to get out and vote, and to make it as convenient for everybody and safe for our school kids as well," Commissioner Beauchamp said.

"It doesn't take long for things to go wrong," Gerfaud said. "So when you have a community that's really trying very hard to come up with safety measures that benefit everybody, I can support that."

Commissioner Beauchamp said there were already issues with the locations not being spread out enough, so he thinks this change will benefit everyone come November.

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