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Two Screenings Of The Documentary
“Storming For The Vote”
TOMS RIVER, NJ – The Ocean County Library will observe the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy through two free special forums of the documentary “Storming for the Vote” sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New Jersey.
The forums will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. on October 29 in Mancini Hall at the Ocean County Library’s Main Branch, 101 Washington St.
One week after Superstorm Sandy stuck the coastline on Oct. 29, 2012, leaving in its wake unprecedented damage and devastation in Ocean County, County election officials were faced with the challenge of conducting a Presidential Election. That challenge included overcoming limited electrical power, voting districts virtually washed away, and thousands of citizens displaced and homeless.
Despite this, the democratic process carried on and with the help of County workers, volunteers, the Ocean County Library System and a host of advocates, organizations and the individual voters, polls opened, ballots were cast and the results declared.
These collective efforts have been captured in a powerful documentary called “Storming for the Vote” which chronicles the actions taken so that everyone who wanted to vote had the ability to do so in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
“The League of Women Voters did an exceptional job producing a documentary that captured the emotional and devastating impact that Sandy had on our county as well as showcasing the great spirit of our residents to cast their votes despite the obstacles faced after the storm,” Ocean County Clerk Scott Colabella said.
According to Colabella, 253,333 people cast ballots out of 383,260 registered voters or a 66 percent turnout during the 2012 General Election.
“This was a remarkable turnout considering the circumstances,” Colabella said. “This was an unforgettable time in the history of Ocean County and our state.”
The public is invited to attend the forums and hear from a panel of election officials as they discuss the effects of the storm on the election.
“The library was scheduled to be closed last year on Election Day but we stayed open instead to meet the information needs of our residents following the storm, including where to find information about polling places and providing access to library computers and fax machines for people who wanted to vote electronically,” Ocean County Library Director Susan Quinn said.
Kerry Butch, the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey said the film demonstrates “that for New Jersey citizens, having the opportunity to cast a vote was a comfort, a palpable sense of relief, a moment of normalcy in an otherwise chaotic and disorienting week.”
The 20-minute documentary produced and directed by filmmaker Christina Eliopoulos, features footage of Ocean County after the storm and interviews with County Clerk Colabella and Ocean County Board of Elections Supervisors as they recalled their efforts to administer a Presidential Election in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
“Scott and his staff and the Board of Elections and so many County and local agencies, and organizations deserve a great deal of credit for running this election under adverse conditions,” Ocean County Freeholder Director John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety and liaison to the County Clerk’s office said.
“I would like to thank the League of Women Voters for capturing the spirit of cooperation that was so very apparent during this time,” Kelly said.
For information on the documentary and forums, contact Jesse Burns, Director of Communications for the League of Women Voters of New Jersey at 609-394-3303. Information about the League is available at www.lwvnj.org .
This program is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Contact the branch or visit the library’s Web site www.theoceancountylibrary.org