Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bensalem voters applaud new polling place

Emilie Lounsberry reports

Bensalem voters applaud new polling place

Emilie Lounsberry reports

11:32 a.m.

At the polling place tucked inside the St. Mary Family Resource Center in Bensalem, a steady stream of voters cast ballots all morning.

Many were from the adjacent Creekside Apartments, which for decades had its own polling place until 2007 when the Bucks County Board of Elections moved it to another location, citing complaints about crime at the apartment complex.

Some residents went to Federal Court, accusing Republican officials of supressing the turnout of minority and foreign born voters, many of them poor and elderly.

Yesterday, most voters said the Resource Center site was a welcome compromise.

"This is more convenient," said Willa Johnson, 65, a retired teacher who lives at Creekside. "This seems less congested."

Ernesto Veneziale, a Republican committeeman at the polling place, agreed. He said parking was better in the strip shopping center and residents have been able to walk or drive to the new location.

"This is a big improvement," he said.

By 11:30 a.m., about 450 people had voted. Veneziale said there were about 35 voters in line at 6:30 a.m. this morning before the polls opened.



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Thomas FitzgeraldThomas Fitzgerald joined The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2000, and has covered Harrisburg as well as city, state and national politics for the newspaper. He was a “boy on the bus” in the 2004 presidential campaign and during primary contests in 2000 and 1996.

Nathan Gorenstein has covered politics and government in the city, state and nation for the Inquirer. He's worked in the city hall bureau, had a stint on the business desk, and once covered the suburbs. After serving as assistant regional editor, he was named editor of the "Politics" web site.

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