Lines funneled out of auditoriums and gyms across Rockville Centre Tuesday, as residents headed out to their designated polling places to make their votes count in this year’s elections.
Heading into the election, there was concern that voters would have problems accessing information about their polling places due to Hurricane Sandy. However, residents seemed undeterred by the storm in getting out to the polls, as options were provided for voters displaced into other election districts by the storm.
“If they come here and they are not in this particular E.D., we give them affidavit ballots to fill out,” said Charles Licata, Chairperson of the 51st Election District.
“There were just a little more people, but they were very well-organized with tables and information to set up everyone with where they needed to go,” said Rockville Centre resident Michael McCarthy, who voted at the John A. Anderson Recreation Center.
Licata, who was stationed at Hewitt School, was impressed with the turnout Tuesday afternoon and expected more voters to show up later in the evening once people got out of work, noting that the busiest time hadn’t even come yet.
According to Licata, the turnout featured a diverse mixture of age groups casting their votes, with a lot of affidavit ballots from those forced to come to RVC from surrounding communities due to the last effects of Hurricane Sandy.
“[It was a] very good mix,” Licata said. “It’s the usual people that have been coming in and the same general mix of age groups. ... We’re getting people from Long Beach and Oceanside because they are staying with other people -- that’s the only thing that’s been a little different.”
Economic issues seemed to be the biggest concern for voters, who voiced some of their concerns with Patch.
“I think first and foremost is that we have to find a way to fix the economy here before we worry about any other places in the world,” said Rockville Centre resident Michael Leboff, who voted at Riverside School.
“I also think that student loans are an abhorrence right now,” Leboff added. “I think that we get robbed and are told to go to college and then when we come out of college we owe people hundreds of thousands of dollars -- so it’s a lose-lose situation.”
“I think some of the biggest issues are around taxes and whether or not student loans can be forgiven,” said Rockville Centre resident Brendan Finnerty, who also voted at Riverside.
“As a recent college graduate, I think that it’s really important that you try to get out of debt as soon as possible when you’re entering the real world,” Finnerty added. “That can really affect everything from your credit score to trying to get an apartment, or just everything you need to move forward with your life."