Letters to the Editor

Remove Voting in Our Schools

3d1adfd24c5365b115d5_5b0969680de0a2b560de_letter_to_the_editor.jpg
3d1adfd24c5365b115d5_5b0969680de0a2b560de_letter_to_the_editor.jpg

I’d like to commend and thank the Concerned Parents of Summit for their significant efforts towards removing Election Day polling sites from our schools.

The conversation at last Monday’s town council meeting was extensive.  Boiling it down, here is what we know:

We know that voting is inherently safe.  No one is arguing the point and saying otherwise.  However, we also know that schools are used as targets because of easy access for ill intentioned people and because it evokes the strongest of emotions.  We can eliminate the easy access by removing voting from our schools so that Election Day becomes like any other school day in Summit, no easy access for people both known to the school and for strangers alike. 

We know there are other points in time when there is easy access to our schools (Basketball games, etc).  Fair point.   Yet as with everything, we cannot eliminate all risk.  We can, however, strive to mitigate risk wherever possible.

We know that we have 3 potential solutions.  We can remove the children from their schools on Election Days (close schools), we can increase police presence on Election Day keeping our students in the schools or we can remove polling sites from our schools.  

To that end, we know that only the Board of Education can close the schools on Election Day and our school administration has explained the challenges that would pose.  

Having increased police presence is certainly helpful and we appreciate Chief Weck’s willingness to do so, but that may or may not be a feasible solution on every Election Day year after year.  Likewise, added police presence might actually serve to worry our children as they may wonder why police are necessary while voting since police officers keep them safe.  That fear runs counter to the belief we wish to instill that voting is inherently safe.

We know that we absolutely can and many people concur that we should remove voting from our schools.  Our Union County Board of Elections Administrator has told us that they and they alone approve polling sites.  That is true, but note the nuance.  Its not that they approve using schools or not using schools.  Instead, they approve or don’t approve the list of sites provided by each municipality.  Thankfully, they have already set some precedents for us.  They approved new polling sites for New Providence.  Likewise, the Union County Board of Elections Administrator told us that only 54% of towns in Union County use schools for 100% of their polling sites.  Clearly then, they have approved the use of non school buildings as polling sites for 46% of the towns in Union County.  So, while they do have final approval, we certainly can help drive the conversation by finding suitable polling locations, which Title 19, Section 19.8.2 of New Jersey Voting Statutes not only allows each municipality to do, but actually requires the City Clerk’s of each municipality to do.  We understand that it will take some work; it is not an easy task.  We also have many volunteers willing to help make this happen.

It is really a simple calculation.  Voting in schools + Children/teachers,etc. present = The potential for a bad outcome.  If we change the input by making election day business as usual in our schools, then we can reduce the potential for bad outcomes.  This is a great opportunity for the Summit Town Council to step up and be a hero.  Change the equation, change the potential outcome, be the hero.

Lisa Hartman

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Summit Police Blotter

July 9, 2018

6/19 - Peter Ferguson, 31, of New York, New York was arrested on a contempt of court warrant out of Point Pleasant Beach. Mr. Ferguson posted bail and was provided a new court date.

6/22 - At 1552 hours a report was taken for a theft of one thousand (1,000) mops from Overlook Hospital. The reporting individual indicated the theft occurred between 6/10 and 6/21. Taken from a storage area ...

Challenge Your Children with the Summit YMCA's Fun-Size Development Program!

July 16, 2018

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today” - Malcolm X

The Summit Area YMCA recognizes the potential in every child. We strive to provide the environment and resources for all youth to learn, grow, and thrive. With nurturing and supportive staff, enriching curriculum and programs, and a strong built-in value system, children are able to not only reach ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Talks Netflix's Cash Burn as Company Reports Earnings

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on Cheddar.com discussing Netflix's earnings report and why the streaming service should dilute shareholders to plug its cash burn.

cheddar.com/videos/netflix-earnings-preview

​​​​​​For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been ...

Fear of Rising Rates? Remember The Reason You Own Bonds

If the current interest environment has you concerned about your bond portfolio, remember why you are investing in bonds.  The role bonds, or fixed income, play in a portfolio is not solely based on performance.  Bonds are used to offer stability, particularly when stock market volatility is rising. Rate hikes can dampen bond performance, but keep perspective on how rising rates impact ...

Are You Ready for Your Child to Turn 18?

If your son or daughter is turning 18, here are a few things you need to know:

If you have an UGMA/UTMA savings account for your child, did you know those assets are his/her legal property and once that instrument matures (most often 21 years old or 18, if you designated that at time of account creation), those assets are at your child’s disposal with no restrictions or ...

Extra Time

It was close to 70 minutes into the match and I had to go to the bathroom.  Badly.

As fans watching the World Cup know too well, bathroom breaks are a serious dilemma, especially for those who don’t have a TV in the loo.  This biological necessity is exasperated by beer, which during World Cup matches also fuels a strong propensity to throw chairs and instigate riots.