Despite Sandy, storm-affected residents went to vote

Following superstorm Sandy last week, some votes in Staten Island were cast by flashlight.
CBS News

(CBS News) HOBOKEN, N.J. - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Tuesday urged residents in areas ravaged by Sandy to get out: A Nor'easter is headed up the coast and low-lying areas may flood again. That will hamper efforts to restore power to more than 900,000 homes and businesses in the northeast. The death toll rose Tuesday at 121 in nine states. But Sandy could not wipe out Election Day.

Nothing would stop Nelly Moreno from voting. Four feet of water swept through her neighborhood last week.

Did she ever felt that this was not the year for her to vote? "No. On the contrary, it motivated me to come out," she said.

Voters largely undeterred in Sandy-affected areas
Voting problems reported in some states
Sandy victims' concerns: Voting, housing, power

Volunteers scrubbed all weekend to get the polls ready. Around 800 polling places were without power in New Jersey Saturday. On Tuesday, it's fewer than a hundred.

A mobile voting precinct delivered mail-in-ballots along the Jersey shore. In Staten Island, some votes were cast by flashlight.

New York and New Jersey voters displaced by the storm can vote at any polling place. That contributed to long lines and some confusion.

But Maureen McDonald was grateful to vote inside a tent in Far Rockaway, New York. "It makes me feel proud to be an American that during a disaster like this, we can still vote for our president," she said.

Down the street, the National Guard handed out supplies. Roughly 861,000 customers are still without power in New York and New Jersey. The coastal storm due Wednesday could bring 55 mph gusts and heavy snow that could bring down more trees and power lines.

To prepare for that storm, Mayor Bloomberg has issued an order closing all of the city's parks and beaches effective noon Wednesday.

  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the anchor of the Saturday edition of the "CBS Evening News" and a national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley" and other CBS News broadcasts.