State Officials Create Alternative Voting Plans After Hurricane Sandy

Polling stations could change, a New Jersey county clerk said.

 Power outages have state officials worried about voting on Election Day, Nov. 6., and New Jersey officials are working on a contingency plan.

Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French on Wednesday confirmed that polling stations could change.

“As far as I know, we are going ahead with the election," said French, who has been in touch with the NJ Election Division in Trenton. "We have not been notified by any changes, no dates have been extended, no deadlines changed. We are planning on voting on Tuesday."

Each municipal clerk will make plans for location changes if necessary, she said.

According to a FoxNews.com story, a representative from the New Jersey Division of Elections said it’s too early to say what might happen, but postponing the election would be highly unlikely. Voting hours at various polling locations could be extended though.

Other states affected by Hurricane Sandy are also formulating back up plans.

“Due to hurricane Sandy, poll site information for the November 6, 2012 election may change,” a message on the New York Board of Elections website reads. “Continue to visit this page for the latest changes in poll site information provided to us by the County Board of Elections," it says.

Connecticut and Massachusetts use paper ballots that are counted by electronic scanning equipment, so counting the ballots could be done where the power is on, the FoxNews.com story states. Voting equipment could operate on batter power or voters could use paper ballots that could be counted by hand.

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill said the election would take place Nov. 6 as planned and voting registration has been extended to 8 p.m., according to FoxNews.com.

According to Brian McNiff, spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts William F. Galvin, Hurricane Sandy will not affect voting in Massachusetts on Election Day.

“There is no polling place that is without electricity, first of all,” McNiff said. “Secondly, the optical scanners we use can run on battery power. And third, we vote on paper ballots.”

Sharpie November 05, 2012 at 08:57 PM
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