Photo: EPA
Early vote
Photo: EPA

Military trucks to replace ballots in Sandy-struck states

Superstorm's aftermath likely to affect Election Day as many voting stations were washed away by floods. Poll predicts lower-than-usual voter turnout

WASHINGTON – New Jersey and other states across the East Coast that were severely battered by superstorm Sandy will deploy military trucks to serve as polling stations on Election Day, next Tuesday.


Department of Defense trucks will be parked at regular polling places that have lost power, and will also replace decommissioned ones. The electronic voting process in these places will be replaced by old-fashioned paper ballots.


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States affected by the storm will also be extending the deadline on early, mail-in ballots. Election officials said that such ballots could be handed in as late as Election Day, by the close of the polls.


New Jersey's Republican Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno said that "voters will find a DOD truck with a well-situated National Guardsman and a big sign saying, 'Vote Here.'"


Ballots washed away by storm. New Jersey (Photo: AP)


Guadagno said it was still unclear how many of the state's 3,000 polling places are without power. Alternate sites are to be identified in cases where polling places are gone, she said.


New York is also facing serious hurdles ahead of Election Day and according to the Daily News, city officials "are scrambling to prepare makeshift polling places to replace those shuttered by Hurricane Sandy."


New York State Board of Elections spokesman John Conklin told the paper that New Yorkers are "dealing with a fluid situation," adding that "We are doing an assessment of power, safety, and the ability to get voting machines in and out of the facilities.


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    "We will decide if and when to move a polling station once that is done," he said.


    According to the report, the Staten Island Board of Elections office had to close and so did the Manhattan office.


    Sandy’s lingering effect is "very likely to depress voter turnout a little bit because people either won’t be able to get there to polling sites, or if they do get there and it’s moved, to find the new space," Dr. Bruce Buchanan of the University of Texas, told the Daily News.


    Even before the hurricane, experts predicted a lower-than-usual voter turnout. A Gallup Poll released last week indicated that fewer people planned to vote this year than in 2008 or 2004.


    AP contributed to this report



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    פרסום ראשון: 11.02.12, 23:15
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