Local/State

Voting a real concern of NJ residents

Friday, November 02, 2012

There is growing desperation for those without power, food and gas in Sandy's wake. But storm-battered communities in New Jersey are facing yet another concern Friday night - no electricity at polling places, with the presidential election just days away.

Governor Christie is insuring everyone in NJ they will have a fair chance at voting by Tuesday.

Brigantine was spared much of the destructive fury of Sandy brought down on the barrier islands in Atlantic County.

Residents of Brigantine were happy to learn that the election process for them will not be hampered.

Atlantic County election workers delivered voting machines to city hall in Brigantine late Friday in advance of Election Day.

Until late Thursday, Brigantine Island had been cut off from the mainland just like Atlantic City, Longport, Margate and Ventnor, before the travel restrictions to those barrier islands was lifted.

Inspections of all the potentially damaged or powerless polling places in the county have been done.

All of Brigantine's polling places have power restored and will be cleaned up well before voting begins on Tuesday.

It is a relief to the town clerk who supervises elections there.

"Mostly I was worried that we weren't going to have electric or be flooded out or that people weren't going to be able to get to the polls," said Lynn Sweeney.

John Mooney, the county's election superintendent, still has more than 60 machines to deliver to Atlantic City and other badly stricken towns like Ventnor.

Some polling places he knows will have to be moved into adjacent trucks or trailers as directed by Governor Christie.

"If your polling place has power, you can go to your polling place and vote at your regular machine. If you don't, there will be a truck there that will be your polling place. You go in there and you will use paper ballots, and you will vote as you normally would, but with paper ballot rather than a machine if you don't have power at your individual polling place," Governor Chris Christie explained.

"We have Ventnor, which I understand a couple of polling places are going to need trailers especially in the Ventnor Heights area," said Mooney.

For Brigantine voters like the Kahns, a smooth day of voting after the horrific blast by Sandy will be just what the doctor ordered.

"I was concerned that we wouldn't have access, and fortunately we were able to come this morning," said Faye Kahn.

"We just got it confirmed that we can vote here," said David Kahn.

County clerks at all election offices in the state of New Jersey will be open through the weekend 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day to inform voters of what is going on and to accept male in ballots and to process any outstanding mail in ballots.

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