South Jersey voters are heading to the polls today a week after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc, coating roads with a layer of sand and flooding some coastal neighborhoods.
The storm has prompted the suspension of some campaigns, notably those of incumbent US. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, and his Democratic challenger Cassandra Shober. It’s also led to concern that some voters may forgo the election altogether.
Four Atlantic County polling places have been relocated, and all Long Beach Island voters will cast ballots in Manahawkin.
This comes on top of major election changes made long before the hurricane made landfall.
Many school districts have taken advantage of state legislation to move their school board elections to November for the first time in more than a century. The only exceptions to the change in The Press of Atlantic City’s coverage area are Atlantic City, Bridgeton and Hammonton; in all 468 of 541 districts statewide have moved their elections to the fall.
Additionally, redistricting means many voters will be casting ballots at new polling locations.
Officials are advising voters to pay close attention to the sample ballots mailed to them over the past month.
Anyone can request an absentee ballot on Election Day, although it must be returned to the county Board of Elections office by 9 p.m. Absentee ballots can also be emailed or faxed to the county clerk by 8 p.m., although the request must be made by 5 p.m.
Registered voters may be able to vote electronically. For more information, call 877-NJVOTER.
President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has led recent New Jersey polls against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican. According to Real Clear Politics, a polling aggregation website, Obama has led his opponent by an average of 11.8 percent among the state’s voters.
Voters will also be deciding their next U.S. senator. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, who was appointed and then elected to the seat in 2006, will face Republican Joseph M. Kyrillos, a state senator since 1992. According to Real Clear Politics, Menendez has on average led Kyrillos by 19.5 points in polls.
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