Many in Morristown Area Heading to Polls

Whether it's the presidential election, or fear Sandy-related issues would cause problems, many voted Tuesday (and even earlier).

While a presidential election year historically brings more people to the polls, several poll workers Tuesday morning in this area said they were seeing even higher than usual turnouts.

Gene Ferrari, a poll worker at the Morris Township Municipal Building, said one-third of all eligible voters in several districts had already cast their ballots by noon. In District 8, that had been 200 out of 671, in District 9 it was 237 out of 642.

"That's a big turnout," he said. "We usually don't get much more than 10 percent [the whole day]."

A Republican-dominated municipality, Ferrari said a strong anti-President Obama sentiment might be getting more folks out to vote.

Over in Morristown, one of Morris County's few Democratic strongholds, Joyce Gendrau was performing her civic duty just as he has done every year since the Eisenhower administration, this year casting her vote for Obama.

"That's a lot of elections," the 81-year-old said. "It's my privledge, I always vote."

A resident of the Mills Street neighborhood, Gendrau lost power (after not having lost it at all through last week's superstorm) Tuesday morning when a garbage truck hit low-hanging electrical wires at the corner of Washington and Mills streets in Morristown. She said she hoped that, nor a similar incident by the Morris County Courthouse, would not deter people from coming out to vote.

Perhaps not, since many of them voted long before Election Day.

Douglass Vorolieff, also of the Mills Street neighborhood, voted on Friday by absentee ballot at the Morris County Clerk's office. He wasn't the only one. "There was a 30-minute wait," he said. With Sandy turning pretty much everything upside down, "we just weren't sure how things would end up."

Marcy Lubitz Needle also voted absentee last week. But, that was because her family was expected to be in Dublin, Ireland by now. Sandy also changed those plans.

While her reasons were for a now-cancelled escape from all the turmoil the east coast has had to weather, Needle said a lot of others there just wanted to make sure they would have their chance to be counted. "They wanted to know they would have an opportunity," she said.

By midday Tuesday, they had plenty of opportunities and exercised them.

"Turnout has been steady, enthusastic and cold," said Paul Albanese, a poll worker at Morristown Town Hall. "People are considering this a very important election."


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