Some Texas schools to close for safety on Election Day

Elections 2022

(NewsNation) — Several northern Texas school districts are canceling classes on Election Day next week for schools that act as polling sites as a safety precaution for students.

The decision was made to protect students as many people will be in and out of the school building all day, as well as in response to the increase in concern over disruptions and violence at the polls.

DallasFort Worth and Richardson are among the cities that have made Election Day a holiday for students, according to a report from Axios.

And per the Texas Election Code, schools in the state must be made available as polling sites for voters if needed.

Voter safety has become a top priority across the country as more voter intimidation claims have been filed.

The U.S. Department of Justice has investigated more than 1,000 threatening messages to election workers and more than 10% rose to the level of a criminal investigation.

The FBI announced this month that they are working with local law enforcement for the elections and warned that there will be consequences for anyone who attempts to intimidate or cause harm to voters.

In Texas, early voting concludes on Friday, leaving Election Day as the last chance to vote in person for this year’s midterm election. Election officials are anticipating a high rate of in-person voter turnout.

There have been additional safety precautions at poll sites across the country.

Officials in Travis County hired a company to provide de-escalation training for its poll workers. The training “added a level of knowledge we thought would be useful for poll workers to have if the need arises,” a spokesperson told NewsNation.

On Tuesday in Arizona, a federal judge ordered armed members of a group monitoring ballot drop boxes, to stay at least 250 feet away from the locations following many complaints that people wearing masks and carrying guns were intimidating voters.

In Georgia, poll workers in every precinct can text a five-digit number to report alarming activity through a new alert system.

Election officials can also report received threats to their local FBI Election Crimes Coordinator, according to the U.S Election Assistance Commission.

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