New Jersey polling sites see smaller crowds after millions mail in their ballots early
Polling locations across New Jersey saw smaller crowds this Election Day because more than 3.5 million state voters mailed in their ballots ahead of time.
It was an Election Day unlike any other in the Garden State and was missing some of the usual fanfare of the day, such as large crowds at polling locations and groups of people showing off their “I Voted” stickers.
But there were still some people around the state who chose to go to the polling locations in person on Election Day – braving the cooler weather and COVID-19 pandemic. Some said that they did not trust the mail-in process.
“More of trust than anything. I like to make sure I see it delivered,” says voter Paul Henke.
Some people said that they simply procrastinated and dropped off their ballots last-minute. Others moved and did not get a mail-in ballot or didn’t receive their mail-in ballots for unknown reasons.
Voter Sharon Rockhead said that she already sent in her ballot and just came to a polling location hoping that they were giving out the “I Voted” stickers, but she was out of luck.
“No stickers, but that’s OK. What are you going to do?” she said.
By noon, 300 people had filled out provision ballots at Central Middle School in Parsippany, while many more had come by just to drop off their completed ballots.
Voter Amy Chada voted for the first time this election – and she said she was a bit overwhelmed.
“It feels like too much responsibility. Like, your votes count to make our country and you’re voting decides what happens in our country, so it’s really heavy,” she said.
And democracy can make some people very hungry. Mickey Chopra who owns a Vinnie's Pizzeria and I2I, an Italian-Indian fusion restaurant, was there with provisions for the poll workers.
“I felt these hardworking poll workers can't get out. It's a small thing I can do,” he said.