Hightstown Borough moved their polling location last week from Hightstown High School to the First Presbyterian Church.
Despite the move, Borough Clerk Debra Sopronyi said residents were well aware of where to go to vote, and there was a significant turnout Tuesday.
According to Sopronyi, usually on Election Day there is an ebb and flow of voters depending on the time of day. This year, however, she said there was a constant stream of voters.
One such voter was Dan Buriak, who said he voted across party lines for the Hightstown Borough Council election based on candidates’ experiences that he felt would be valuable for the position. He said the borough hall’s location and party affiliations, while hot button issues in the media, were not key factors in his decision.
“I think for most people, it doesn’t matter,” Buriak said. “It’s more about the issues.”
By 4 p.m., Sopronyi said poll workers estimated the borough used about 40 provisional ballots, which is rare for the borough.
“If we use one or two, that’s something,” Sopronyi said.
She said the borough saw voters from the New Jersey shore and other parts of New Jersey that were affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Sopronyi said the borough received several calls from residents who were housing relatives affected by the storm enquiring about provisional ballots. She said they were looking for some normality.
“It was great to say they could go to Hightstown,” Sopronyi said. “So, that was a great thing the state did allowing that.”
Sopronyi said the provisional votes are transported in sealed pouches to the county elections offices. Each county then verifies that the voter is registered.
In Cranbury, poll workers said the township also saw an unusual amount of provisional ballots. An estimated 20 displaced voters came to Cranbury Town Hall to place their vote, many from the shore area.
Colleen Cahill has polled for about 10 years, and this year’s presidential election felt as busy as the last, or more, she said.
“It seems like it’s going to be a big mess to sort out in terms of actual registered voters and whose votes are counting,” Cahill said.