Steady voter turnout for midterms in Montclair
By Jaimie Julia Winters
There's been a steady string of voters in Montclair despite the rain poll workers are reporting. Those voters include Montclair resident Mikie Sherrill who is running for the 11th district congressional seat against Republican Jay Webber and voted at Northeast Elementary at 10 a.m. this morning.
Alan Bloom waited about five minutes to cast his vote at the Montclair Fire Department Headquarters off of Bloomfield Avenue. He used a new voting system that combines touch screen with paper confirmation. Bloom said he saw more voters than usual. And don't worry about the rain he said, there's a designated parking area right outside for voters.
Noah Gale, who voted for the first time, said he has been waiting since he was 8 to vote. "I was so ecstatic to vote! It was a fantastic and outstanding experience," he said.
Whitney Tchoula said there were friendly and enthusiastic voters, and poll workers assisting at Hillside Elementary.
Clean Water Action canvasser Kerry Doyle, who has been knocking on Montclair doors since May in anticipation of the midterms, said she saw a renewed excitement for this year's election.
The day wasn't without some glitches, though. There had been a delay of about an hour at Bradford School during the morning. Katya Wowk, the township communications officer, said the municipal clerk's office was looking into what had caused the delay. At the Walnut Street fire house, voter Desiree Rubolotta said that a voter in line ahead of her went to sign in, and found that someone else had signed next to his name in the voter register.
There was also the promise of sweet and savory treats at some of the polling places to bring voters in. Bradford, Edgemont and Watchung schools had bake sales, run by their respective school PTAs. The offerings included cookies and cakes as well as soups and easy-to-bake dinners.
The Montclair Bread Company offered free coffee and doughnut holes to anyone who came in with an I Voted sticker, or else stated that they voted. Since a lot of voters reported that their polling places weren't giving out stickers, the bakery had to operate on the honor system, said Jessica Woodward, the director of operations. Customer traffic had been brisk, with about 200 customers having come in by 3:35 p.m.
All of the Montclair Bread Company's sprinkle doughnuts were covered in blue sprinkles for the day, and the bakery brought back its Pink Kitty doughnut: a variety originally introduced at the last presidential inauguration. "We'll probably sell out [of varieties] by the end of the day," Woodward said.