Ocean County Press Release
Film To Be Shown at Ocean County Library Oct. 29 10/10/2013
TOMS RIVER – It was a little more than a week after Superstorm Sandy roared ashore on Oct. 29. 2012, leaving in its wake unprecedented damage and devastation in Ocean County, that County election officials faced one of their greatest challenges – conducting a Presidential Election with limited electrical power, voting districts virtually washed away, and thousands of citizens displaced and homeless.
And yet, the democratic process carried on and with the help of County workers, volunteers, the libraries and a host of advocates, organizations and the individual voters, polls opened, ballots were cast and victories were declared.
These tireless 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 film will be presented by the League of Women Voters of New Jersey at the Ocean County Library, here, on Oct. 29 – the one-year anniversary of the storm.
"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," said Ocean County Clerk Scott Colabella.
The public is invited to attend two free special forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New Jersey to view "Storming for the Vote" and hear from a panel of election officials as they discuss the affects of the storm on the election.
The forums are scheduled to run from 5 to 6 p.m., and 7 to 8 p.m., on Oct. 29. Both will be held in Mancini Hall at the Ocean County Library's Main Branch, 101 Washington St., Toms River.
"This 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, and most importantly an inspiring testament to the fact that participating in the democratic process unites and serves all of us," said Kerry Butch, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey.
The 20-minute documentary produced and directed by noted 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 provide first hand recollections of 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," said Ocean County Freeholder Director John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety and liaison to the County Clerk's office. "I would like to thank the League of Women Voters for capturing the spirit of cooperation that was so very apparent during this time."
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."
For additional information on the documentary and forums, interested individuals may contact Jesse Burns, Director of Communications for the League of Women Voters of New Jersey at (609) 394-3303. More information about the League is available at www.lwvnj.org.