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Primary Elections: Less Than 10 Percent of Voters Showing in Some Districts

Turn-out for the primaries remains low through the afternoon and into the early evening.

As is winding down, the number of people heading to the polls to vote in the primaries has not increased, according to poll workers across the township.

Incumbents Matthew Moench and Christine Henderson Rose are running for two nominations for township council under the Republican party, and are being challenged by resident Michael Pestorius.

The race for the Democratic nominations are uncontested, as residents John Rooney and Mary Pranzatelli are running for the nominations.

Dan Hayes and Jim Ventantonio are running for the Republican and Democratic, respectively, nominations for mayor.

At noon Tuesday, numbers were very low at the municipal building, with 27 people in total reportedly having voted by that point, and 16 reported at the .

And by the evening hours, as people were heading home from work, the numbers had not improved.

At the  on Milltown Road, district 33 was reporting that, out of 882 registered voters, only 35 people had turned out to vote by 5 p.m.

Down the road, at the , district 16 was showing 26 voters out of 339 and district 31 was boasting 26 voters too, out of 457. This was all measured by 6:30 p.m., with the polls closing at 8 p.m.

"This is our duty as Americans to vote, and I'm surprised people are not," said resident Tina Scorzafava, who said she voted on the Republican ticket. "It is an important part of American society, and this is the way we see our freedoms and our money being spent."

But as workers at the Country Hills Volunteer Fire Company noted, it may not be just a lack of caring keeping people from voting. Many people, they said, are unaware of the recent redistricting from the 2010 census, and have gone to the wrong place to vote.

So, the workers said, some people don't know where to go, and they may not take the trouble to drive somewhere else if they go to the wrong voting location.

Information about districts was sent out on the ballot form several weeks ago.

Rose, who voted at the Blessed Sacrament Church on Washington Valley Road, said she was told there were 100 people as of 2 p.m., and believes everyone should take the opportunity to get out and vote.

"This is my opportunity to vote, and that piece I take seriously," she said. "I hope that people choose to exercise their rights."

For Rose, she does not know why people choose not to vote, and believes it usually takes some kind of problem to make them take part.

"Controversy motivates people, and the threat of change," she said. "But it's a primary, and there are not a lot of big races now."

With the only contest for the township being on the Republican ticket for township council, Rose said some people may have opted to sit this election out, and instead take advantage of the beautiful weather.

"They may say there aren't many contests, it's a beautiful day," she said. "But those historically voting in the primaries are out today."

And with so many in the township registered as unaffiliated, Rose said they may not have wanted to declare a party just to participate in this vote.

"Independents can vote, but they have to have a compelling reason to do so," she said. "People are happy with their unaffiliated statuses."

Rose said she spoke to people in town as part of her campaign, but many were not exactly excited about the primaries.

"We haven't had a contested Republican race in years," she said. "I don't think the issues bring people out in the primaries."

Resident Will Stroock said he made sure to vote because it is his duty to do so. And, he said, one of the candidates came to his door.

"One of the candidates showed up and he seemed nice, so I wanted to show my support," he said, adding that he voted Republican.

During the regular elections, Stroock said, he notices how many people vote.

"But this is just a primary, and people don't care because there is not much contest," he said.

Resident Anthony Montano said he is surprised and disappointed that more people don't vote.

"I think it is our duty and right," he said. "But some people just don't care. And then when the person they support loses, they wish they had come to vote."

Some have said it is important to better get the word out about the primaries, particularly because they are held in June, a time that is not normally associated with an election.

"Most people associate November with an election," Scorzafava said.

But, Scorzafava said, everyone should take part.

"I am fulfilling my American duty," she said. "It is my absolute freedom to elect the person who is most responsible to the community."

Check back later in the evening for more updates on Primary Election Day, and stop here first for up-to-date results after the polls close at 8 p.m.

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