For Some in Storm Recovery Zone, Voting an Emotional Event
By Frank Eltman, APPosted on
Election workers help a voter, right, finalize his affidavit ballot at a consolidated polling station for residents of the Rockaways on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in the Queens borough of New York. Election Day turnout was heavy in several storm-ravaged areas in New York and New Jersey, with many voters expressing relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
On Long Island, Sarah Brewster, 39, was shaken when she entered the East Elementary School in Long Beach to vote and noticed that the clocks were all stopped at 7:27 — the time on Monday evening when everyone in the community lost power.
She started crying when she emerged from the crowded school cafeteria, surrounded by more reminders of the hurricane — the loud hum of generators to keep the school open and the portable toilets on the sidewalk.
“It’s emotional. You go into the building here and you see the clocks stopped at 7:27 when we lost power. It’s right there in the polling place, 7:27, when it all happened here, so…”
She trailed off. Tears streamed down her face as she spoke.
“Seeing the generators and all that but it’s important to be here. We’ve just got to keep going forward and doing the best we can in the midst of the destruction.”
“It’s part of our civic responsibility in the midst of all this crisis.”