With voting on Tuesday, J.H. Williams did not hold classes that day so that they could have voting on campus. Although there weren’t any classes in session, the school did hold an inservice.
With teachers at the school, parking on campus was almost non-existent, Campbell said.
“We closed schools for the elections, which was Nov. 2 – Tuesday–and I was unaware that at J.H. Williams, we would have an inservice at the school,” Campbell said. “I got a lot of phone calls, of course. I went over there a couple of times. There are a lot of elderly voters in that district, and with the inservice going on, a lot of these people couldn’t vote.”
Campbell said he received calls from people complaining about the lack of parking spots, and said he had to go to the school three separate times that day to try and vote himself.
“I went three times,” Campbell said, “and I had no place to park, and I wasn’t walking four blocks in the rain.”
According to Campbell, parking was so bad, there were cars parked as far as St. Theresa Church on Leonard Avenue.
“Cars were parked up towards St. Theresa,” Campbell explained. “I caught a lot of flack from a lot of the elderly voters in the district that usually vote in every election, and they were unable to vote in Tuesday’s election.”
Campbell said a couple of commissioners told him the last time something like this happened, the school would reserve eight or 10 spots for people to use who were there to vote, however this was not done Tuesday.
“I’m not really complaining. I’m only saying that we need to do a better job and consider–especially the elderly folk who have to get rides to go to the polls,” Campbell said.
“If we’re closing the schools for the purpose of people being able to vote, we should not be using the schools for inservice,” Board Member Anthony Fontana said. “I mean, I wish I had known that. Why else close the schools? Keep the schools open, and let them vote–we’d have the same problem. I mean, this is insane.”