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Local and National Issues Divide WD Voters

Early voters had a lot of their minds this morning as they headed to the polls in West Deptford.

Blustery conditions and temperatures in the low 40s were not enough to stop West Deptford voters from fulfilling their civic duty Tuesday morning.

Patch was on the scene as voters filed into West Deptford Middle School to cast their ballots for a number of races, from township committee and school board to the presidency. The parking lot at the middle school—home to voting districts 14, 17, 18 and 19—was full this morning and voters had to wait in line to cast their ballots.

While sampling just a small portion of the many voters who walked out of the middle school, it was plain to see that many different issues—both locally and nationally—affected voters in very different ways.

Ralph Baganto, who did not wish to reveal his votes, said he split his picks between Democratic and Republican candidates. Baganto says issues such as Medicare, foreign policy and job outsourcing affected his vote for presidency. 

Baganto’s one critique of this year’s presidential election was the lack of media coverage on third-party candidates. 

Sean Mooney told Patch he voted down the line Republican from the presidency to township committee.

“We’re voting for a guy with much more experience,” Mooney said of former Gov. Mitt Romney.

Mooney said Romney is better suited to handle America’s current economic problems, since he has already ran a state. He added he thinks America is heading in the wrong direction and is in need of a change.

Other voters said they threw their support behind President Barack Obama.

“I believe in what he stands for,” said Evangline Banks.

Banks said Obama inherited the debt crisis from former President George W. Bush, and is afraid that Romney will bring the country back into the Bush era. She was also critical of Romney’s stance on social issues, including abortion rights, and his lack of a plan to help impoverished Americans.

“There are people out here suffering today—we got to take care of those suffering,” Banks said. 

Township committee race looms large

Yet, with the race for presidency in the forefront, West Deptford residents are also voting for a very crucial seat on the township committee.  

Mooney's Republican ticket also included voting for township committee candidate Jeff Hansen. The state attorney general's investigation into the water and sewer department influenced his vote. An audit on reported problems focused on a time when the township committee had a Democratic majority.

George Munyan told Patch he also voted for Hansen to promote a Republican majority on the township committee. Munyan said far too much time is wasted on arguments within the committee as opposed to movement—something that happens from the local to national level, he added. 

“Perhaps, if they’re all the same party, there will be less fighting,” Munyan said.

Others took the same approach, but for the Democratic ticket. Nalini Unni said her beliefs align very closely to that of the Democratic Party. Voting for President Obama, they also voted for Democratic incumbent Committeewoman Denice DiCarlo.

But not everyone who came to the polls today pushed a button for township committee. Banks said she abstained from voting for local officials because she wasn’t informed enough on their platforms.

What did you see at the polls today? Long lines? No lines? Tell us in the comments. And don’t forget to join West Deptford Patch for a live chat tonight, starting at 7 p.m.

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