Polling places throughout East Hampton Town reported high voter turnout during the midterm elections on Tuesday, despite no local positions on the ballot. Voters in East Hampton Village, Springs, and Wainscott, were mainly pleased with the new voting machines, which had only been used once before for the primaries, and reported few problems to election inspectors.
Linda Kernell, who voted at the , said she liked the new voting method. "It was fine --happy to see to it. We need a paper trail."
At the Neighborhood House in East Hampton, Matthew Myers responded positively to the new system. "It's great, more effective, easier, faster," he said after he voted.
Though it seemed quiet at the small polling place at the , Bruce Robertson an election inspector there, reported around 12:30 p.m., "A third of the registered voters have already voted. So it's a very good turnout indeed."
When asked how people are responding to the new voting systems, "They like them," he said He considers himself to be politically savvy and says that the economy is one of his main considerations when deciding how to vote. Though he claims his political aptitude does him no good in understanding health care reform. "I'm bewildered by health care," he says. "I still can't puzzle it out."
One voter leaving the Wainscott Chapel, who would not give her name, said she enjoyed using the new machines. "They were great. They seem to be easier to see." When asked what she considers when casting her vote, he answered, "I think about a country that benefits all people. I'm sick to death of the negativity in Congress. There's no country like our country."
The Wainscott Chapel got a surprise inspection from Tom Hattorf, who works for the trainer's division for the Suffolk County Board of Elections but today was out in the field as a custodian for the board of elections. A Suffolk County Sheriff's Deputy escorted him and other custodians around town to polling places. Hattorf said, "It's going well . . . active in some places. It looks good."
At the , Jeff Millman who had just cast his ballot, said he had mixed feelings about the new polling system. "They're OK. I prefer the mechanical ones. These are a little more work but at the same time it forces you to pay attention." He continued, "I just hope there's no shenanigans."
Millman said that for him, his vote basically tends to be about party philosophy. "I really believe that there is a difference," he says. Republicans tend to be more for big business and the democrats tend to be more for the people."
Howard Smith who also voted at John Marshall likes the new system. "I didn't know about it so it was unexpected, but it's more honest. It's on paper."
Frank Millspaugh, who also voted at John Marshall, preferred the old system. "It was a lot easier to just flip some switches and pull a lever. This seems cumbersome." His choice of who to vote for is a bit simpler, he has one main qualification: "That they not be Republican."
Edward Nash who was an election inspector at the Neighborhood House, said that the turnout has been strong, something he attributes to the current political climate, "This is the public's reaction to Obama's overreaction. He went so far, so fast that he scared the living daylights out of Republicans."
Back at the Springs Fire Department, Helen Smith said she liked the new system except for one ergonomic flaw: "With the new procedure, it's not conducive to left handed writers." She's a lefty, and found it difficult to use since the pen was tethered on the right side of the voting booth where voters fill in the circles on their ballot.