Election officials in states that were drenched and devastated by Sandy remained very hopeful that their polls would be open as scheduled November 6 for the presidential election, even though there is widespread outages of power that have threatened to leave millions without any power for an unknown period of time.
On a worst case basis, plans would force some voters in West Virginia from using touch screen electronic devices to using paper ballots. In the state of Pennsylvania, some of the counties might have to relocate polling venues, said a spokesperson for the State.
In West Virginia, leaders have not had talks about rescheduling, said a spokesperson, instead they are looking into having generators on hand and to go with paper ballots for any precincts that might still be without power.
In New York, officials were trying to obtain an assessment from every county that was affected, said the state elections board spokesperson. The evaluation of the polling venues, centers on their accessibility, whether people will be able to reach the different venues and the impact on them due to power outages. A New York spokesperson did not say whether the state was thinking of trying to reschedule their election process.
Postponing the elections, especially for the entire state, during a presidential election would be a very uncertain proposition and one that would be difficult to accomplish.
Dates for elections for the President, Senate and House are set by Congress, said a professor of law and the results of those elections are formalized by federal officials. State and regional level races are then clustered onto those same election dates.