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Gas-strapped, monitor limits travel

Marvin Smith, chairman of the civic engagement committee at the Islip Town NAACP, was driving around Central Islip on Tuesday, monitoring the polls.

He was sticking strictly to Central Islip, the community where he lives, he said, because, “I only got a quarter of a tank. I ain’t waiting on those long gas lines.”

He said he was pleased with the turnout numbers that poll workers had supplied, which he said would likely equal turnout numbers for the last presidential election in 2008.

In the seven months leading up to today, he said his local branch registered about 600 voters.

At some polling places he surveyed, he said he saw people holding their driver's licenses or other IDs as they waited in line to vote. Smith said poll workers hadn’t asked to see them, but some voters appeared to think they had to show them in order to vote, which is not required under the law. He said he advised poll workers to tell voters to put their IDs away.

Smith said he worried that some voters without IDs might have seen people clutching the identification and had the false impression that they had to show identification to vote and instead left the polling place without voting.

“That bothered me,” he said.

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