How Sandy has impacted voting in N.Y., N.J., and Conn.
In New Jersey on Thursday, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, in her capacity as the state's chief election official, issued a directive to county clerks and local election officials with orders to ease voting restrictions. Originally, applications to vote by mail had to be received by the county clerk seven days prior to the election, but Guadagno ordered officials to process any applications received by today. Guadagno also ordered county clerks and election offices to keep their offices open at least a full eight hours every day, today through Monday, to help process mail-in ballots. Voters can submit their mail-in ballots to those offices in person.
Officials were ordered to notify the state by today about polling places likely to be inaccessible and to identify alternative sites. Guadagno said in a press conference this afternoon that she hadn't had a chance to review all of those reports, but she said only a "small number" of polling places are without power. In Monmouth County, for instance, she said there are only 10 polling places without electricity.
Guadagno said that voters can text 877877 to find out the location of their polling place. For those polling sites that must be relocated, Guadagno relaxed the rules regarding where they must be situated. The state is also ready to deploy military trucks to serve as temporary polling places, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported.
In Connecticut, Gov. Dan Malloy this week issued an executive order to move the voter registration deadline from Tuesday, Oct. 30 to Thursday, Nov. 1. The state's strict voting rules only allow residents out of the area to vote by absentee ballot.
As of Wednesday, there were dozens of polling places without power, the Hartford Courant reported. However, like New York, Connecticut uses optical scan voting machines that can run on batteries.
"What is most important that is that somehow, some way, this election take place in the state of Connecticut,'' Malloy said Wednesday, the Courant reported. "This is a national election, with national implications. We need to vote, and I have asked the secretary of the state's office, the registrars, the town clerks, the mayors, the first selectmen to do everything they can to make sure that we have this election."
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