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Voters Cast Ballots In Tents After Sandy Devastates The Rockaways

Voting tents in the Rockaways - Nov. 6, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Voting tents in the Rockaways – Nov. 6, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The devastation of superstorm Sandy has apparently not dampened the patriotism of the residents of the Rockaways.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

Determined voters walked or took special buses to vote at a temporary polling site at the Scholars Academy / P.S. 180 on Beach 104th Street. Nine flood-ravaged precincts were combined into one there for Election Day.

Voting has been remarkably smooth there. Though there were some glitches at the beginning of the day, including a minor power problem which caused a delay.

But there was also something more serious.

“Our equipment that FEMA dropped off to us – the port-a-johns, generators, and lights – they dropped them off and they didn’t secure them and they were all taken overnight,” said poll worker Estelle Lions. “So, we just got some new ones. We got some heaters. We’re getting some new lights. We’re excited about that. But if anybody could bring hot soup or hot coffee, that would be terrific.”

“What a strange way to vote, in a tent,” WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond said to voter Susan Krings.

Voting tent in the Rockaways - Nov. 6, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Voting tent in the Rockaways – Nov. 6, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

“It definitely is, but, you know, at least we voted,” she said. But she had other things on her mind. “Now, we’re off to see if we can find a motel before this nor’easter comes in.”

1010 WINS’ Al Jones On The Story

Evacuees also voted there, like Dorothy Wagner and her husband Lance, who made it there from Staten Island.

“We would never not vote. Absolutely,” Dorothy said. “It’s a civic duty. You have to do it.”

Richard and Noreen Hamilton were surprised at how easy it was.

“It was not that bad. I expected more chaos. So, it was pretty good,” Richard told 1010 WINS reporter Al Jones.

“It’s very important. More so now than ever. Walked all the way here to do it,” said Marcia, who traveled 30 blocks on foot.