Enterprising Students Among Early Winners at Polls


img_20161108_092638652Perhaps the biggest winners at the polls early on Election Day were those students who organized bake sales.

At both Narberth Town Hall and Penn Wynne Elementary School in Lower Merion, enterprising students — the St. Margaret Elementary School eighth grade at the former, the host school’s fifth grade at the latter — offered early-morning poll goers muffins, cookies, cupcakes and other baked goods to a captive audience.

Between the polls opening at 7 a.m. and up until about 8:30 a.m., lines of about 30 minutes or so snaked through the buildings, giving the students a chance to hawk their wares.

Penn Wynne parent Kristin Jacobson, who was there with her son Zach, said the goal was to raise $750, an increase over previous years.

“We tried to make it a little bigger this year,” she said, noting that chocolate chip cookies and banana nut bread were big sellers.

As for the voters themselves, reports from Narberth, Penn Wynne and Chatham Park Elementary School in Havertown indicated that everyone was staying cordial.

“The first voters showed up before 6:30 a.m.,” said Phyllis Rubin, a Democratic committee chairperson at Penn Wynne. “It’s been more of an organizational experience than a political experience.”

Rubin said everyone knew who they were going to choose for president, so her goal was to inform voters about the rest of the ballot.

Across the aisle from Rubin was Republican Committeeman Mike Adler, who knew the GOP faced a tough battle in heavily Democratic Penn Wynne.

“No one is going to change anyone’s mind in Lower Merion. We’re not going to win Penn Wynne,” he said. “It’s going to be 80-20.”

Adler did report a bit of early-morning excitement as a sign he posted that read “Judge finds Lower Merion School District intentionally violated the law in budgeting and tax practices” was torn down by a school district employee. Adler replaced the sign.

As for the voters themselves, many expressed relief that the political season was ending.

“It’s enough with the commercials. It’s enough with the negative campaigning,” said Scott Kleeman, who was voting at Penn Wynne. “It’s been a huge disruption.”

Eric Goldstein of Havertown, who voted for Hillary Clinton at the Chatham Park polls, said he wasn’t going to miss the sniping and negativity, but he’s enjoyed following the race.

“I’ve always been a Democrat. I would have voted for the Democrat anyway,” he said. “The social issues are a lot more important than the Republicans give them credit for.”

While the Chatham Park area leans 60-40 Republican, Committeeman Paul Tarantino said, that appears to be changing, according to Chris Coburn, a volunteer on the Democratic side.

This was Coburn’s first time working an election and, unlike most people on Election Day, she was visibly excited to be there.

“Anything I can do to help Hillary win,” she said.

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