New Jersey primary voters turned out on Super Tuesday to take their places in American history.
UPDATE: New Jersey officially made Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, while Donald Trump cruised to another primary victory.
And while New Jersey's role in officially making Clinton the first woman to top a major-party ticket was the focus of the national media, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was on the minds of many in Bergen and Passaic counties.
"I grew up in Japan with national healthcare and I always took it for granted,” said chef Kumiko Itagaki, 42, who cast her vote at the Fort Lee Community Center. “But now I live in America and I am struggling to pay for my health care costs. I also care about the environment and I am anti-fracking. Bernie stands for these things.”
Dash Radosti, 21, who was running for a Bergen County Democratic Committee seat, spoke of his candidate's "tremendous integrity....He takes no money from the special interest groups and he has been right on every single thing from desegregation in the Sixties to the Iraq War to the financial crisis."
Ken Lavey, a 23-year-old artist/photographer from Allendale, felt similarly about Sanders -- "despite his imminent loss" to Clinton.
"The big, simple thing for me is investment banking," Lavey said. "Institutions should not be able to gamble with depositor money. They shouldn’t be able to do socially useless financial engineering just because they can. It’s not ethical."
New Jersey -- with 126 pledged delegates -- will make Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday.
“I believe she will do a better job than any other candidate,” said Crystal Huron, who cast her vote for Clinton at the Fort Lee Community Center.
“She knows more about politics and what is going on in Washington D.C.," said Huron, a 45-year-old home health aide. "She has also worked closely with Obama.”
In Lyndhurst, Clinton supporter Anthony Papamarkos, who owns a catering facility, said the former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady is "taking care of the lower class....We don't have a lot of money. Democrats help the middle and lower classes."
His son, Joseph, came to vote for the first time but didn't want to answer questions.
Clinton can't officially clinch the nomination until the vote is taken at the Democratic National Convention in July.
However, the Associated Press played spoiler on Monday, projecting that Clinton will be the first woman to amass the 2,383-delegate majority needed for the nomination.
The A.P. surveyed the party's 714 uncommitted superdelegates and reported that 571 supported Clinton, giving her the victory.
News organizations did the same with Barack Obama in 2008.
Donald Trump as the Republicans' presidential candidate was a foregone conclusion.
"Other people wouldn't agree with me, but I want to try Trump," said Pompton Lakes retiree Roger Kent, 82. "He sounds like he's got a screw loose, but he makes a lot more sense than some of the guys who come waltzing in year after year.
"He doesn't know how to deport himself, but he has some good ideas."
“I think he is the only one that will reform this country,” said Murray Zaintz, 82, a retired business owner who voted in Fort Lee. “He will make us safe and make the country the way I knew it when I was a child.”
Primaries were also being held in Montana, New Mexico, the Dakotas -- and in California, where the results will be largely symbolic.
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