NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Hurricane Sandy's devastating impact on New Jersey will affect the election right here in New Brunswick, where the city has decided to downsize from fourteen polling places to thirteen.
Residents of Tov Manor, Dewey Heights, University Mews, Cobb Road, and Rutgers University's Henderson and Gibbons dormitories normally vote at the University's Labor Education Center.
Voters in those areas will instead be directed to the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School at 133 Tunison Road, where voting was already scheduled to take place for residents of Rutgers Village, Edgebrook, and the Regency Manor Apartments. Otherwise, polling places will remain identical to those used in prior elections.
- First Reformed Church, 9 Bayard Street
- Hungarian Heritage Center, 300 Somerset Street
- Lincoln School, 66 Bartlett Street
- Lord Stirling School (use George St. entrance), 100 Redmond Street
- New Brunswick Board of Education Gymnasium, 268 Baldwin Street
- New Brunswick Middle School (formerly New Brunswick High School), 1125 Livingston Avenue
- Providence Square Senior Housing Complex, 217 Somerset Street
- Public Works Garage, 400 Jersey Avenue
- Robeson & Schwartz Community Center, 7 Van Dyke Avenue
- Roosevelt School, 83 Livingston Avenue
- Senior Citizens Resource Center, 81 Huntington Street
- St. Mary of Mt. Virgin Church CYO Gymnasium, 190 Sandford Street
Voters who wish to confirm their registration or pin down their exact polling location can use this link or send a text message to 877877. Anyone who goes to a polling station that was not expecting them has a right to request a provisional ballot which will be counted if your registration is valid.
The announcement of the polling place switch was first made by the New Brunswick Police Department on Sunday morning.
"Rutgers University will provide shuttle bus service from the Rutgers Labor Education Center to the Woodrow Wilson School. The hours of operation of the shuttle bus service will be from 5:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m," said the statement issued at 12:34pm.
Rutgers confirmed they are providing bus transportation every half-hour beginning at 6am from the old polling site to the new one. The drive takes approximately 8 minutes, according to Transportation Director Jack Molenaar.
Additionally, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has ordered the Middlesex County Clerk's office to open for in-person voting on Saturday and Sunday. Hundreds of county voters flocked to the County Administration Building on Bayard Street to cast ballots.
A spokesperson for the county could not say how many voters took advantage of the opportunity to vote on the weekend, the first time that has ever been offerred.
The county also could not say whether or not any voters were turned away due to the long lines this weekend. Voters reported wait times in excess of two hours yesterday.
Today, roughly 200 additional voters came to excercise their franchise before the office closed at 4:30pm.
The state also institued new procedures to make voting easier for first responders and victims of the Hurricane.
According to the policy, any voter "displaced" by the superstorm or any first responder involved in the recovery can cast ballots by email. However, the displaced voters will likely need a printer and scanner in order to transmit the necessary paperwork and cast an email ballot.
Displaced voters or first responders are also permitted to submit ballots by fax, according to the Governor's order.
To request an email ballot, county voters are directed to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The fax number is 732-745-3642.
Anyone who is not able to make it to their regular polling place may also request a provisional ballot, which will be counted after their registration is confirmed. Poll workers are required to offer provisional ballots to anyone who requests them at all polling sites in the state.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.