Local residents and Montclair State University students made their way to Bradford Elementary School in the rain and fog. Bradford Elementary was one of the three locations Montclair State residents could vote in, with students from Freeman Hall and Russ Hall being instructed to vote there.
The election was held in the small gymnasium with two polls on opposite sides of the room. The polls were split based on the districts of the voters, districts five and nine.
The polls at the elementary school opened at 6 a.m. and were open all day. Two young girls from the elementary school held a bake sale for potential voters with supervision from their mothers.
Lillian Wellington, a member of the Essex County Board of Elections, was at Bradford Elementary since 5:15 a.m. to set up the polls. They had a rough start since the ballots did not arrive on time.
Montclair State University President Susan Cole was at Bradford Elementary in the morning with a few Montclair State students, according to Wellington.
“We usually have about 50 people,” Wellington said. “This is more people than ever before.”
Men, women, parents, students and elders crowded into the gym to cast their vote. Among the voters in the crowded gym was senior film and photography major Matthew Gleason.
Gleason was a first-time voter accompanied by his mother and younger brother. His mother happily exclaimed that seeing her son vote for the first time is a proud moment in her life.
Gleason felt it was his civic duty to go to the polls and vote in this election.
“At the current moment there has to be something changed,” Gleason said. “Regardless of your standpoint, it’s still important to vote.”
Gleason went on to explain his point of view and took pride in being Hispanic, specifically Guatemalan.
“I feel that it is important to make people aware that I’m not going to sit and do nothing,” Gleason said.
Senior music education major Darian Hampton echoed Gleason’s words with his own.
“[I want] to have my voice said so I don’t have a reason to complain after,” Hampton said.
Hampton felt that complaining about the results is pointless if you do not get out and vote yourself.
“We’re at a different point of society now,” Hampton said.