Thousands Vote Early in Ocean County

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Toms River. November 5, 2012

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Residents preparing to vote at Ocean County Admnistration Building (photo by Phil Gregory)

Because of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy election officials in New Jersey are taking some unusual steps to make voting easier.

Residents displaced by the storm can vote by email or fax.

In hard hit Ocean County, Board of Elections chairman George Gilmore says the county has printed 50-thousand provisional ballots.

“They will be distributed to every single polling location in Ocean County. So if you’re displaced because of this storm, you don’t have to try to get back to your town. You can go to any polling place that’s closest to you and vote provisionally there so your vote will be counted.”

Gilmore says residents now staying in emergency shelters will be able to vote.

“We have brought in a mobile bus that can accommodate up to 12 voters at once. That bus will be going to the shelters, both the shelters in Ocean County as well as the shelters in Monmouth and Burlington Counties which are housing Ocean County residents so we afford those people the opportunity to vote.”

More than two thousand people already cast their ballots at a temporary voting site in the county administration building.

Gerry Pizzi lives in Toms River near the bridge to Seaside Heights. She says she couldn’t go to her usual polling place because the neighborhood was decimated, but feels an obligation to vote.

“It’s more than a moral imperative, and people that were indifferent about it before this point see how important it is. We need government. We need people that come out for us and do for us and care about us.”

A man from Ortley Beach says he voted at the county administration building because his regular polling place was destroyed by the storm, and his house is gone too.



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