The elections must go on: Storm damage can’t stop New York and New Jersey voters

Just like the Giants-Steelers game, the elections must go on despite the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy, New York and New Jersey pols decided this past week.

And they had few ideas about how to make that happen.

Trucks as polling stations:

The Department of Defense was called and came to the rescue by providing large military trucks to be used in place of some polling places that were without power due to Sandy’s destruction.

At this make-shift polling stations, the voters were expected to fill out their ballots by hand.

“You walk up, get a paper ballot, fill it out and hand it back in,” explained New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who called voting this way “old school.”

Consolidated poling stations:

In New York, the Board of Election issued a list of polls that were no longer operational today and directed voters to new polling places such as Abraham Lincoln High School and PS 370 that were now destination for three times as many registered voters as prior to the storm.

Extended early voting deadline:

In New Jersey, that is. New York does not have early voting.

Gov. Christie extended the deadline for early voting till Friday of last week. Those in areas where the polling stations have been completely destroyed were advised by Secretary of State Kim Guadagno to mail it in by Friday. Those who might still make it to another polling station within NJ, can still hand in their ballot in person today.

Email in your vote:

Up until 5 p.m. EST time on the day of the election, New Jersey voters could have emailed or faxed in their request to vote by email or fax. Their request is then reviewed by county clerk and if approved, the voter then receives a ballot. Due to the overwhelming number of requests and the time that it took to process these requests, Gov. Christie moved the deadline for voters to return the ballot to Friday, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m.

Voting through affidavit ballots:

“We want everyone to vote. Just because you are displaced, doesn’t mean you should be disenfranchised,” said the governor. Later he signed an executive order allowing affidavit ballots, which means that displaced New York voters can go to any polling place and after signing an affidavit, can cast their vote.

Here is Gov. Cuomo’s press conference on the voting situation in NY:

Cuomo’s Executive Order: