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Dustup over East Elementary polling place

Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 12:00 am News Flash Archive

The Chairman of the Leflore County Election Commission, Edward Course, has written the Board of Supervisors expressing his frustration with Bob Strebeck, the conservator of the Leflore County Schools, over a disagreement about use of the East Elementary School Cafeteria for the polling place for the upcoming state-wide primary and general elections.

Course's letter to the Board may be seen here: Letter to Board of Supervisors from Edward Course

Course asked Strebeck to make the Cafeteria available as a polling place for the elections, which the Commission determined would require 8 voting machines to accommodate the expected turnout.

According to Course, Strebeck said that he couldn't accommodate the request for so large a room to use election day.

Course wrote that in the past, the election precinct has always made use of the cafeteria, until last year, when Strebeck told him that "he forgot to put that date on his calendar."

Course requests that the Board of Supervisors "explain the situation" to Mr. Strebeck, who Course claims "was not cooperative when I contacted him."

Byron Haynes, an administrator with the school system, told The Taxpayers Channel that the children "have to eat every [school] day," and that the only way in the past that the school cafeteria could be used for voting purposes was to schedule a school closure on the required days. He stated that this was more difficult to do with the heightened need for instruction days to meet accountability standards that have been imposed since the system was placed under a conservator.

According to the calender published on the school district's website, there appears to be nothing scheduled for the August 4th primary election day. School doesn't begin until August 8th.

However, November 3rd, the date of the general election, is scheduled to be a regular school day for the Leflore County School District.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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