Voters throughout several New York counties may be given an extra voting day to cast ballots after Superstorm Sandy left many polling areas without simple and quick access for registered voters to cast their ballots.
The New York Board of Elections will determine if polls should open for a second day of voting based on turnout numbers. According to state board spokesman Thomas Connolly, the polls could re-open if less than 25 percent of voters show up at the polls on Tuesday.
Connolly tells CNN:
“To my knowledge this has never happened in New York. Will the turnout be low? It’s hard to say — probably, it all depends if people have other priorities.”
The second day of voting could be approved for as late as 20 days after the initial Tuesday vote. The polls would be open for 11 hours on the second day. Only voters who were eligible to vote on the first Tuesday would be allowed to vote during the second day extension.
Adding to the misery in New York is New Jersey and several surrounding areas which could face a Tuesday storm which might further reduce poll numbers.
Election officials in several areas have already consolidated and relocated upwards of 40 polling sites. Thirty additional sites are being powered by portable generators to ensure polling moves forward.
According to the New York City Board of Elections, upwards of 143,000 voters in the city’s five boroughs have been displaced away from their original voting districts.
To help voters find their new poll locations, the Election Protection Coalition has set up a hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.