Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on Election Day
- November 6, 2012
Hurricane Sandy devastated states across the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. In Maryland and the District of Columbia, election officials canceled early voting for two days–and then extended early voting hours on subsequent days. But states and counties also had to quickly assess which polling places would be usable for Election Day and which would need to be relocated, especially in hard-hit New Jersey and New York:
- In New Jersey, the state is allowing displaced voters to cast ballots by email or fax and, in some instances, is using military vehicles in place of damaged polling places. In Bergen County, 152 polling places in 36 towns were relocated. Polling places in Atlantic, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Somerset, and Warren counties, among others, also had to be moved.
- In New York City, 59 polling places had to be relocated affecting 143,000 registered voters. Some of these polling places were merged into “super” polling places. Several polling places were moved into tents. Suffolk County on Long Island moved nine polling places, and polling places also changed locations in Orange, Rockford, and Sullivan counties.
- In Connecticut, more than 100 polling places were initially without power after the storm, but in the end, only two locations had to be moved.
Voters in these states and many others can use official information provided by the Voting Information Project through tools such as the Google voter information tool, the Microsoft polling place locator tool, and mobile polling place locators such as Mobile Commons to help find their polling place.