A steady stream of people flowed into polls at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Great Neck on Tuesday afternoon. The school had its power restored hours before, just in time for Election Day.
Marc Maniscalo, a Democratic poll coordinator at the school, said voting was going smoothly. For most of the voters, the school was their regular polling place, but Maniscalo said about 15 to 20 affidavit votes were cast by displaced voters from such areas as Long Beach.
“Everything’s been good. It’s a nice turnout. We’ve been getting a lot more [voters] than I expected,” he said.
Power — and the lack of it — was fresh on voters’ minds on Tuesday.
Amy Novikoff, 62, of Great Neck, said she drove from her parents’ home in Melville to vote, eyeing her gas gauge all the way. Novikoff and her husband were forced from their home after they lost power.
Despite only having a half-tank of gas left, Novikoff said she was determined to cast her ballot for Obama.
“There is no question in my mind I wasn’t voting,” she said.
Novikoff said she hadn’t been aware of the existence of affidavit voting, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo instituted for all displaced New Yorkers.
“I would have voted with my elderly parents in Melville,” Novikoff said.
Tuesday marked Eytan Zarabi’s first time voting. The 18-year-old Hofstra University freshman said Sandy didn’t deter him from casting his first ballot, but it did keep his mother from voting.
His mother, who recently became a citizen, had planned to register to vote, but scrapped the plans during her preparations for Sandy.
“When Sandy came on top of that, she was like, ‘Forget it — I’ll do it next time,’” Zarabi said.
He said many people in his family don’t vote, thinking that their votes won’t make a difference. But Zarabi said he wants to change that by setting an example for his younger cousins.
“It’ll make an impact,” he said.