With less than a week to go until voters head to the polls, Pennsylvania officials say they’re working with county governments to ensure that after-effects from Hurricane Sandy won’t stop balloting from beginning Tuesday as planned. The Department of State is assessing what election-related obstacles may have been created by this week’s storm, with a report expected by today or Thursday. Counties that shut down their offices as the storm approached have been authorized to extend their absentee-ballot application deadlines to as late as Thursday evening.
While Allegheny County was not included in that extension, a county judge ruled Tuesday that completed absentee ballots could be submitted past Friday’s deadline. The county instead will count all ballots submitted by 8 p.m. on Election Night.
Gov. Tom Corbett said Tuesday he hadn’t made a decision whether to issue a statewide extension for returning absentee ballots, noting that most areas of the country have access to postal service.
He also said his administration’s review of county preparedness will ensure that polling sites are high on the utilities’ repair lists. “I think we can make sure, in talking to the chairman of the [state Public Utility Commission], that the electric companies can make sure those polling places have power,” Mr. Corbett said.