News / USA

New Jersey Voters Go to Polls Despite Impact of Hurricane

New Jersey Residents Vote Despite Hardshipsi
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Greg Flakus
November 07, 2012 5:17 AM
In storm-ravaged areas along the New Jersey coast, some voters cast ballots at makeshift polling stations and many people displaced by the storm voted at other locations, using special ballots that only allowed them to vote for president and statewide offices. New Jersey voters were also able to vote online or by fax, although they would give up their right to secrecy as a result. VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, that most voters seem motivated by patriotic spirit.
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Greg Flakus
— In storm-ravaged areas along the New Jersey coast, some voters cast ballots at makeshift polling stations and many people displaced by the storm voted at other locations, using special ballots that only allowed them to vote for president and statewide offices. New Jersey voters were also able to vote online or by fax, although they would give up their right to secrecy as a result.

It's still difficult to get into some parts of this coastal area, which were hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.

But voters who remain in the area were able to vote at a local fire station. Dawn Gioello came early.

"Besides being our duty, it is also a privilege and, whether I like either candidate or neither candidate, I try to make the best choice possible," said Gioello.

She is not enthusiastic about voting by mail or online.

"There is something about coming to the polling place and casting your vote that is so very important," she said.

Jennifer Jamgochian is a first-time voter.  She might have voted by absentee ballot, but for the storm.

"I go to school in New York, and I came to check on my parents and decided to vote while I am here," said Jamgochian.

In spite of the disruption caused by the storm and the power outages and transportation problems, most of the people coming out here to vote in New Jersey do it because they say it is their civic duty.

Patriotism motivated Jack and Anna Powell.

"A lot of people died for our freedom," Jack said.

"It is a right that we have in this country that was given to us, and I think a lot of people should use it," said Anna.

Across the water, in New York City, Leslie Harper expressed a similar view.

"It's very important because it's very important for the country, and I wanted to vote today," she said.

David Scott says voting in the city has been easy for those outside the worst-hit storm zones.

"I think that most people will be able to find a place to vote, and I know that the city is working hard. They opened the polls on Sunday so you could vote early and get it done," he said.

Officials in both states say every effort is being made to ensure that the hurricane does not rob anyone of the right to vote.

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