Township Clerk Beverly M. Carle and Deputy Clerk Karen Stallings stood in their office on the ground floor in Town Hall this afternoon, waiting for the phone to ring or someone to come in with a question.
Sometimes they had a long wait.
"Township Clerk's office, Beverly speaking," Carle said.
She wasn't on the phone too long.
"Most of the calls are about paying taxes," she said to a visitor. "Either they got their tax bills or they didn't. That was about a garage sale."
Carle said she wasn't aware of any problems with voting machines. Two representatives from the Ocean County Board of Elections were stationed at Town Hall, which also doubled as voting district 30 yesterday, to respond to any districts that needed help.
They had been called out to check on complaints of electioneering too close to a polling place in the Holiday City-Silver Ridge area earlier in the day. Campaign workers must stay at least 100 feet away from the entrance to a polling place, Carle said.
Both woman declined to predict whether Democratic Mayor Jason J. Varano or Republican Township Council Vice-President Carmen J. Amato would win the four-year mayoral term.
A man was stationed near the driveway of the Holiday City South Clubhouse yesterday afternoon, handing out Amato team sponges. Across the street on Santiago Drive, two small Varano signs lay on the ground.
Mohamed Emara, owner of the Holiday City Diner on Mule Road, left little doubt who he was voting for. Varano signs were in the window, along with a poster-sized photo of Varano and his family.
"There's an old saying," he said. "If it's not broke, don't fix it. He's done nothing but good for the township."
Emara is quick to point out that he has photos of Republican politicians inside the restaurant he has owned for eight years, including Jon Runyon and the late John Adler.
"It's what's good for the people," he said. "It doesn't have to be Republican or Democrat. Whose going to decide? These people are going to decide," he said, pointing to his customers.
Voting was also steady at the Bayville Elks Club this afternoon, which surprised some of the poll workers, since it's an off-year election with no big names at the top of the ticket. By 1 p.m., roughly 200 had voted, said a worker, who asked not to be identified.
Bill Brower and his wife were two of them. The Browers, who live on JFK Boulevard, said they were concerned about the condition of the Route 9 corridor in Bayville and how it affects local businesses.
"I know we are in a rough economy, but the businesses along Route 9 need to be cleaned up," said Brower, who owns Brower Construction.
They'd also like to see more streets paved throughout the township.