NY Polling Districts Vow They Will Be Open

Nov 5, 2012

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, County Election Boards in the Lower Hudson Valley say they are ready for tomorrow's election... WAMC's Dave Lucas reports

Polling places are being readied, though some suffered damage from the hurricane. Some have no electricity to run electronic voting machines. But officials believe that voters should be able to cast their ballots tomorrow.

Reginald Lafayette is the Westchester Democratic Chairman and Democratic Commissioner on the Board of Elections. He says there were 225 sites without power, down to just 20 this afternoon.

Lafayette has a large list of standby poll workers. For voters, there will likely be delays and inconveniences.  Amaya Tune of the AFL-CIO, which actively promotes voter rights, says exercising those rights may be one more hardship of the monster storm.

Lou Babcock is the Republican Commissioner of Elections in Rockland County, where he expects ALL polling places will be open

Babcock notes there are 5 sites that will be running on emergency generator power: 3 in Orangetown 2 in Clarkstown

In New York, if less than 25 percent of registered voters turn out on Election Day, state law allows for an extra day of voting.

 Officials in Orange County say they will post signs and send workers to redirect voters to alternate polls in districts with power problems. Putnam County officials are developing alternative plans at specific sites. In New York City, 60 polling places are being moved to new locations.  Long Island Power Authority, which services one of the hardest hit areas, has asked for federal assistance to help get polling sites up and running.