Voter turnout was light in Wednesday’s Board of Education election in Millburn Short-Hills -- but as bad as it's been some years.
While nearby towns of Maplewood and South Orange opened their polls at 2 p.m., Millburn opened voting and 7 a.m. and didn’t close until 9 p.m. Yet voters only trickled in during the morning and afternoon said longtime Millburn resident and poll worker Roslyn Fink.
“We’ll get more when people get off from work,” she said in the mid-afternoon at the library polling place. “We didn’t expect much turnout in the morning. I know Millburn, and when the 6 p.m. train arrives then we’ll get some business.”
In a township of about 20,000, according to the County Clerk's Office, some 14,112 residents are registered to vote yet only 1,891 votes were cast on the budget question that affected tax payers with its 1.35 increase on the tax levy. In addition, there were 1,183 "undervotes" or ballots where voters did not vote for as many candidates as allowed or chose not to vote on the budget issue.
Around 8:45 p.m. people were still voting at the library.
“We’re sneaking in to vote at the last minute,” said Phyllis Greenberg. “But at least we got here.”
People brought their children to the library to watch them vote and, after a push in the High School to get 18-year-old students to vote, poll workers saw quite a few teens on Wednesday.
Ezra Dantowitz was one of those.
“It was exciting to be a part of the politics in my town,” said the graduating MHS senior, who was voting at library. “I think it’s good for young people to get involved in their community and be a part of the process. It raises awareness of what’s going on in town.”
As Fink predicted, the library polling place was busiest between 6 and 8 p.m.
“I know my town,” she said.