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Some Central Texas schools are giving students Election Day off as a safety precaution

One Austin dad is using the day off to show his kids how democracy works.

AUSTIN, Texas — Some Central Texas school districts gave students Election Day off, and some parents are using it to show their kids about democracy. 

The night before Election Day, Tom Friedrich and his twins, Lucy and Gustuv, are getting ready to hit the polls on Tuesday.

"Click on that, on Hampton Branch," said Friedrich, showing his kids the polling locations on a map online. "That's where we will be tomorrow." 

It's an option the family doesn't typically get but, this year, Austin Independent School District canceled school for students on Election Day.

"It's important that they take part," said Friedrich, "to see why it is such an important day, for the process and to see democracy in action." 

Eight-year-old Lucy is excited, but for a different reason than her dad. 

"To play Minecraft," said Lucy. 

While the Friedrich family is using the off day to continue to learn, an AISD spokesperson said the student holiday is meant to protect them.

"They're open to the public," said Nayeli Santoyo Flores. "It's hard for the staff to have control over every person that comes in. If we would have asked for IDs from every single person, it would take forever."

More than a dozen local campuses will be used as polling locations. Lago Vista ISD and Leander ISD canceled class on Election Day as well.

"Why change things when you don't need to?" said Leander ISD spokesperson Cristina Hardie.

Hardie said for Leander, it's a byproduct of the pandemic that was too beneficial to let go.

"We knew that there were going to be constraints around social distancing," said Hardie.

Back at the Fredrichs' house, third-grader Gustav is finalizing his voting plan for when his time comes. 

"I am going to vote for people who give good advice and honest people and helpful people," said Gustav.

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