The effects of superstorm Sandy were apparent at Longwood Junior High in Middle Island, where about 15 displaced voters staying with local residents cast ballots by midafternoon.
“We not only have to deal with the voting issues but displaced residents who need to vote here,” said Erna Rowe, voting coordinator at the site.
Rowe said the lingering effects of Sandy were highlighted when one distraught voter walked in and talked about his ordeal earlier in the day. The man said he had filled his gas tank at two separate stations in the morning, only to have it siphoned out minutes later while he was parked at a nearby Walmart, according to Rowe. The man voted and then called a friend for a ride home, Rowe said.
Meanwhile, confusion reigned at the school’s front entrance, as voters encountered locked doors — school was in session — without any directions as to where to go. Security guards and others gave voters conflicting directions on where to go; voting was being conducted in another building on the campus about 300 yards behind the front entrance.
One of those who made it back to the poll was Michele Kilkenny, 46, of Ridge.
“I know it’s going to be a tight race. I’m tired of hearing about it,” she said.
Kilkenny, who voted for Obama, said she didn’t discuss politics with her friends before the election because, “It’s not a good topic if you want to remain friends.”
She rode to the voting site with her friend, Eliana Wishnevsky, 33, of Ridge.
“It’s important for everyone to vote,” said Wishnevsky, who also voted for Obama.