Displaced N.J. voters won’t let storm and aftermath keep them from casting a ballot

    Election Day isn’t until tomorrow, but there was a flurry of absentee voting in New Jersey, due in part to Superstorm Sandy.

    Clerks offices throughout the Garden State were open over the weekend due to an executive order to extend absentee voting through today. Burlington County Clerk Timothy Tyler says his office issued hundreds of ballots over the weekend, including 555 on Sunday.

    “We’re somewhere around 14,000 that have been issued, we’re somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 or so that are back of course that started when we began the vote by mails 45 days ago,” said Tyler.

    Al Davis is voting by absentee ballot. “Because I didn’t want to wait in long lines,” said Davis. “I figured it was going to be a big turnout and I wanted to get it done, and if there were any problems I could take care of them.”

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    Those unable to get to a county board of elections can vote via email or fax. People have been encouraged to call 877-NJ-VOTER for details, but it involves downloading the absentee ballot request form and then emailing for faxing it in.

    Of course, for those without power, phone lines or Internet, that’s not always possible.

    Kim Harris lives in Toms River. She traveled to the Ocean County administration building to vote because usual polling place was wiped out.

    “I think we all have a voice, and I think it has to be heard,” said Harris. “Especially with all that has happened in this area I think it’s good to vote and good to voice your opinion on things.”

    Bruce Polcino lives on Pelican Island in Barnegat Bay and wasn’t planning to vote today.

    “Our area is uninhabitable. We had to go to the family house out of the area. So we came today to pick up our mail and since they had this offered, make sure we get it done while we’re here,” said Polcino.

    Given all the ways people can send a ballot, election officials are warning that returns in New Jersey will likely be slower this year.

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