Why are schools used as polling places?

Rhode Island law (RIGL 17-18-15) requires that all public elementary and secondary schools throughout the state shall not be in session on election day (for statewide primary and general elections). Thus, schools become excellent possible locations for polling places since they often already conform to many of the federal and state standards and regulations that apply to polling places (e.g., ADA accessibility, parking accommodations, etc.). Further, if any repairs or changes to the properties are needed in order to conform to election regulations (e.g., filling a cracked sidewalk or installing an ADA-compliant door handle), the Town is in a position to control and act quickly to remedy the situation. This could be problematic if the Town were relying on private property owners to incur the costs of these repairs. Moreover, any funds the Town might spend on the modest building changes or repairs only further enhance or improve the property overall, maximizing the benefit to the Town of the expenditure. Finally, the number of school buildings in Barrington and their geographic locations across Town are distributed in a way that aligns well with voting district boundaries.

Show All Answers

1. How can I find my voting district and polling place?
2. What is redistricting?
3. Who determined the new voting districts?
4. How many legislative districts are there in Barrington?
5. How many voting precincts (polling places) are there in Barrington for 2022?
6. When do the new voting districts take effect?
7. How extensive were the changes to the voting districts?
8. Why are schools used as polling places?
9. Where can I find more information about redistricting or elections in Rhode Island?