State officials rush to head off Sandy-related election issues

November 3, 2012

Officials in states impacted by Hurricane Sandy are scrambling to adjust election day logistics even as many areas remain without power and postal service disruptions raise questions about previously-submitted ballots. 

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno announced Thursday that military trucks with paper ballots would serve as polling places in areas where polling places still don't have power.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Saturday that the state would have a "full, fair and transparent voting process." But the Web site and text-message service Christie recommended voters use to confirm their polling locations were giving incorrect results, according to NJ.com. Christie said those errors would be corrected by election day. 

In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the states with the worst storm damage, polling issues are not expected to affect the outcome of the presidential election since President Obama is heavily favored to win those states. But, the New York Times noted, lower turnout in those states could reduce President Obama's national popular vote total. Low turnout and mail-in ballot issues could have more of an impact on local and state races. 

Damage from Sandy was not as severe in more competitive Ohio and Pennsylvania, but there are still areas in those states that do not have power. 

As of Friday night, nine Cleveland-area polling places were still without power. Election officials there told the Plain-Dealer they were confident voting would not be affected on election day. 

Between 250-300 polling places were still without power in Pennsylvania as of early Saturday, according to the AP

 

Natalie Jennings is a Web producer for PostTV.
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Natalie Jennings | November 3, 2012