Holding a presidential election one week after a major storm has destroyed homes and knocked out power to much of your state may seem like a worst-case scenario, but the problems New Jersey experienced after Superstorm Sandy could have been much worse, a state elections official said Wednesday. “If the storm was a week later, we would not have been able to have a presidential election in New Jersey and parts of New York,” Robert Giles, director of New Jersey’s Division of Elections, said at a hearing before the Election Assistance Commission. “There’s nothing in place to address that. It’s always been, ‘Well, we’ll deal with it if it happens.’ Well, it almost did.”
Sandy struck New Jersey and New York on Monday, Oct. 29. That was the week before the Nov. 6 election, although many people in affected areas were given additional time to e-mail or fax in their ballots.
Giles and other elections officials taking part in Wednesday’s hearing called for contingency plans in the event of another disaster.
Pamela Green Perkins, administrative manager at the New York City Board of Elections, said a major challenge after Sandy was finding out which kind of generators each polling place needed.
“We needed to know the number of kilowatts and the voltage,” she said. “We had none of that information.”
Full Article: Sandy storm exposes need for voting contingency plans.