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Low Voter Turnout So Far at Lake Hiawatha School

People are taking their time getting to the polls, it appears.

Lake Hiawatha Elementary School, one of the sites serving as a polling place for Parsippany's 39 voting districts, is hopping this morning. That's due to parents dropping off children for classes, however—not to people coming to cast their votes in the 2011 general election.

"I was number 11," said area resident David Kay, who said he showed up to cast a ballot mostly out of a sense of civic duty. "I really don't have that much interest; I tend to vote for the losing party. And I can't say that I'm happy with the present group in government. We'll have to see if we get a change this year."

Donna Arcaro happened upon Patch in Lake Hiawatha School's parking lot. She was at the school for drop-off purposes, but was on her way to cast her vote at Rockaway Meadow School.

Arcaro looked more positive regarding her impending vote. 

"I'm an animal lover," she said. "I heard that [candidate] Paul Carifi Jr. wants to make [Parsippany's] animal shelter a 'no-kill' shelter. That spoke to me."

Also on her mind is Hurricane Irene, which devastated numerous parts of the township, including lower Lake Hiawatha.

"I lost my basement and a couple of rugs on the first floor of my house," she said, adding that the experience will inform her vote. "I was really happy with the town's response to the flood. I felt secure knowing they were on the job."

Town Clerk Elesha Johnson visited Lake Hiawatha School as part of her poll visits.

"Turnout is slow everywhere, from what I have seen," she said. "That is usually the case during the mornings, but I am seeing a level of apathy among the voters too."

Johnson said there were no voting irregularities to report at this time.

While turnout may be slow Tuesday morning, that situation could change rapidly. Polling locations are open until 8 p.m., so there remains plenty of time for voters to speak their piece.

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