This election was a first for Atlantic County Democratic Party attorney Robert Herman.

“I never had to get a court order before to open up a toilet,” he said.

The bathrooms and thermostat at the election center at the Woodlands Condominiums in Mays Landing was the subject of a court order on Election Day. Herman and county Republican Party counsel Randolph Lafferty said they both visited the site in the late morning and talked to poll workers who complained it was too hot and did not have proper bathroom facilities.

The two attorneys worked together on a court order to Atlantic County Superior Court Judge William Todd who ruled at 2 p.m. to open a locked men’s room and give the workers control of the thermostat. Herman brought the order back to the Woodlands at 2 p.m. and had the condominium’s association board comply with the order.

“The poll workers are there for (more than 15) hours,” Lafferty said. “They have to have control of the facilities.”

The housing complex elected a new board in March and board members said they closed the office at the county Board of Election’s request to accommodate the election. They also said there were bathrooms available for the poll workers and the court order was unnecessary.

“It’s all a bunch of craziness,” said Board Chair Ron Greencq.

The Hamilton Township Police Department has an ongoing investigation into the complex and the board locked the office, which had access to the bathroom, because they wanted to restrict access to the files, he said.

“If we had worked with them would have scheduled a way to have it open,” he said.

The association staff had the other bathrooms outside the office cleaned and ready for the people to use, Green said. The thermostat was set at 68 degrees and the workers could have opened the door and window to lower the temperature, he said. The board asked the employees to leave but did supply security during the day, he said.

Green said he doubted the temperature was that high since so many people came through and the door was opened many times.

Herman said both parties had worked together after the storm to make sure all residents that were displaced from the storm would all have access to vote.

“I did not think one of the issues I would deal with on Election Day is a locked bathroom,” he said.

Township residents Lou Green, who managed the poll location, said there were about a dozen people working at the polls from 5:15 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Election Day. There were more than 800 voters that came to the clubhouse that day and so the workers could not take long breaks. He said there were not enough bathroom facilities for everyone.

Green, who is not related to Rob Green, said he was disappointed the development was not more accommodating.

“It’s unfortunate the controversy at that location,” he said. “I never dealt with anything like it before.”

 

Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215

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