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Residents: Hurricane Should Not Hamper Voting

Many said it would affect more people in the southern part of the state.

For many residents casting their votes in the evening hours at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, they were not surprised to see a healthy turnout.

"I don't think the hurricane stopped anyone from voting," said resident Scott Hobbs, who normally votes at Van Holten Primary School. "The gas lines have been better, and there have been no lines at stations."

For many voters—who heard through various avenues that their voting locations had changed, but all knew in advance—they believed voter turnout was probably not affected in Bridgewater.

"I don't think it was a problem in this area, but where the hurricane hit hardest, they were probably affected," said resident Deborah Wachtel, who normally votes at the Bridgewater Methodist Church. "Most people have generators or access to one here."

Resident Beth Lessing agreed.

"The hurricane should not hamper voting here," she said. "Down south, they have more important things to think about."

Lessing said she would have liked if more was done to advertise the different locations. She said she got a call about the change Monday night.

"They could have done something like what the school district does with the Honeywell system," she said. "There probably could be more done to tell people."

As for who to vote for, most were not influenced by the hurricane response, like Hobbs, who said he already knew who he wanted to vote for.

But some believe that those still considering could have been swayed.

"I think people who were on the fence [might have been influenced]," Wachtel said. "I think it's more influential statewide and regionally because people tend to remember the last big thing that happened."

And Lessing said she is not surprised that the turnout was good as a steady stream of people flowed into the high school around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"I think people are getting concerned about the direction of the country, and they are trying to use their voices," she said.

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