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Steady voter turn out in Newark election despite rain
By Tom Lehman

Updated Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 5:08pm

Campaign signs flood Newark neighborhoods. (WDEL/Tom Lehman)
Newark is holding its first contested election for Mayor since 2007 on Tuesday, but it's uncertain how many people will actually vote.

WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.

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Despite the rain and upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Newark mayoral candidate Polly Sierer says plenty of voters are still showing up at the poll's for today's special election.

"I think the fact that it's a holiday week is of some concern although it seems that we do have a higher number of folks who have absentee voted according to what we've been told so that's great," says Sierer.

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About 150 absentee ballots had been collected as of 4 p.m. Monday. That figure is already higher than a previous total of about 100 absentee ballots cast in the 2004 election, Bensley says.

"Thanksgiving is this week so a lot of people are going away, which probably pushed up absentee votes," she said. "The fact that some people have come in Monday to vote absentee who are worried about the weather...and the fact that it is a special election could indicate a lower turnout."

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Candidate Amy Roe, who's been involved with the Residents Against the Power Plan, group says voters are turning out for a variety of reasons.

"A lot of people are talking about the power plant when they come to the polls; I think it's a motivating factor, but I think people are out voting for a number of issues. I don't think this is a single issue election," says Roe.

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City Secretary Renee Bensley says that there's an estimated 15,200 eligible voters in Newark but there are multiple factors that could reduce turnout for a crowded race that includes seven candidates.

About 150 absentee ballots had been collected as of 4 p.m. Monday. That figure is already higher than a previous total of about 100 absentee ballots cast in the 2004 election, Bensley says.

"Thanksgiving is this week so a lot of people are going away, which probably pushed up absentee votes," she said. "The fact that some people have come in Monday to vote absentee who are worried about the weather...and the fact that it is a special election could indicate a lower turnout."

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Former Newark Mayor Vance Funk, whose resignation in September prompted Tuesday's special contest, was elected in 2004 when he received about 74 percent of the 3,567 votes cast.

Funk was re-elected in 2007 when he received support from more than 64 percent of 2,107 ballots cast at the polls.

"We're preparing for a large turnout but we won't be surprised if it's smaller than we think," she says.

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City Councilman Mark Morehead said turnout has been strong at Weslyan Church, which is located in his councilmanic district. He said many voters were motivated to show up at the polls because of their stance on important issues facing the city.

"Turnout, here, has been heavy all day. A couple light spots," he says.

The polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday and are located in each of the city's councilmanic districts:


  • District 1: Wesleyan Church of Newark, 708 W. Church Road


  • District 2: Aetna Fire Station #8, 410 Ogletown Road


  • District 3: Aetna Fire Station #7, 7 Thorn Lane


  • District 4: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 475, 100 Veterans Lane


  • District 5: First Presbyterian Church, Memorial Hall, 292 W. Main Street


  • District 6: First Church of the Nazarene, 357 Paper Mill Road


  • Eligible voters can find out where they're supposed to cast their ballot on the City of Newark's website.

    WDEL profiled each candidate in Newark's special mayoral election.

    You can watch video interviews and read profile stories on WDEL.com.

    Nov. 15: Don Delcollo
    Nov. 18: Robyn Harland
    Nov. 19: Mark Morehead
    Nov. 20: Rebecca Powers
    Nov. 21: Amy Roe
    Nov. 22: Polly Sierer
    Nov. 25: Matthew Vento

    Video and profile stories on each candidate will also be available at WDEL.com
    .



    Copyright © Sep 01, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
    This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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