Some Shelby County schools will be closed on Election Day

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Some school districts across Tennessee will be closed on Election Day, including here in Shelby County.

In accordance with state law, Memphis-Shelby County School District (MSCS) officials say students may not be in the classroom on Tuesday, but will definitely be at the polls.

“We have worked over the past several months and weeks to educate those students about voter registration opportunities and the importance of voting,” said Erin Luster, MSCS community engagement manager.

It’s not just a free weekend.

A 2021 state law says schools used as voting locations can be closed for instruction.

MCSC officials say they hope voting-age students will take advantage of the day off.

“We hope that our students who can become registered voters will be able to mobilize tomorrow,” Luster said. “Go to their polling stations, especially if they haven’t used early voting. We hope these students and their families can come together to vote and participate in the democratic process.”

MSCS’ Kindell Lewis said there are more than 2,000 students in the district who are eligible to vote.

“We were able to reach over 150 students and families,” Lewis said. “We’ve had some opportunities with family members and older adults who can also register to exercise their right to vote tomorrow.”

In partnership with the I’m a Voter Campaign, Luster says voting-age students and juniors have a great opportunity to learn about the importance of Election Day.

“We hope that those students can see the adults in their lives participating in it and that it can be a family engagement and family learning opportunity for students of all ages,” Luster said.

Under the 2021 state law, LEAs or public charter schools may be open or closed on election days, except for the days leading up to the November general election.

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