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State Eases Voting Restrictions to Accommodate Storm-Battered Residents

A New Jersey governor's office directive issued Thursday makes it easier for voters to cast last-minute ballots this year.

In an effort to accommodate New Jersey voters affected by Hurricane Sandy, theĀ governor's office issued a directive Thursday evening easing voting restrictions and ordering election offices to remain open through the weekend.

Per Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno's directive, the state has extended the deadline for mail-in ballot applications -- normally due no later than one week before election day -- to close of business Friday, to make voting more accessible.

Additionally, the state has ordered that county clerks and all election offices remain open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Friday, Nov. 2 until Monday, Nov. 5 to accommodate early in-person voting. By law, voters may apply for and submit in person a mail-in ballot at their county clerk's office until 3 p.m. on the day before the election.

By noon Friday, county boards of election are expected to have identified alternative sites for all polling places likely to be inaccessible on Election Day due to power outages.

"They will know by tomorrow which polling places will be open and which still have power problems," Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan said during a Thursday conference call. "There may be some towns where they combine polling places, they may be moved. But everybody will get out the operation and there will be voting."

Kelly November 02, 2012 at 08:39 PM
By the way, if there is no power at your polling place, they might change the location to somewhere else in town. If there is no power in your town, they have relaxed the rules to say that your polling place could be somewhere outside of your town. In that case, your polling place might be a very far walk, even if you are a healthy adult. I don't think we should minimize the concerns of people who aren't sure if they will be able to make it to the polls, whether ambulatory or not.
Nose Wayne November 02, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Guess if your polling place is without power your SOL ? That is why they should postpone the election, how about South Jersey ?
Marie November 02, 2012 at 11:21 PM
I am glad Ricky can walk to a polling site. Our town is 100% without power and we don't have sidewalks. We are in one of the mountainous areas of Sussex County where a car is a necessity to get a loaf of bread. We have no open gas stations and people are freezing in their houses. And the majority of residents are Republicans who want to see a certain ignoramus out of office.
Ricky November 03, 2012 at 08:17 AM
For those who are able to walk to the polls, I am more than grateful to be ignorant with that suggestion. I plead ignorant 100% of the time for those who are able to get off their duffs and get some much needed exercise (and for a great cause).
Ricky November 03, 2012 at 08:25 AM
""Our town is 100% without power and we don't have sidewalks"" Then for those physically able, walk on the far side of the road facing traffic. Drivers are moving much more cautiously due storm damage and traffic signals out. Stop making it sound like you're living in the Andes.
Nurse1 November 03, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Who is the ignoramus? Even if you're voting for the other guy, show a little respect.
Rex Smithers November 03, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Nurse1, "RESPECT"? For who? Mr. Hollywood? This guy went to Vegas after the September 11 Terrorist Attack. Since then, he's been on damn near every commedy and talk show laughing it up while Americans are either DEAD or hurting. Unemployment is back UP and he's still blaming the other guy. RESPECT? Are You Frickin Kidding? One earns respect and they don't do it by appearing on The View!
Pete Mock November 03, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Ricky, have you taken a moment to think this out? A lot of folks have left their home towns to stay with other people, ofter far away. I live in Bloomfield and we have people without power staying with us from Verona, Jersey City and Montclair. We should be able to get the more local folks to their polling places, but our friends from JC don't even know if their polling place is open. They don't know if they should use up he gas it will take trying to get back home if they don't know for sure they can cast their vote. So it's not as simple as you make it out to be. And FWIW, I'm housing both Dems and Repubs.
Pete Mock November 03, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Again Ricky, if people have been displaced and are staying out of town your dismissive "just walk" is really simplistic. Under most circumstances I would agree, but these are not the usual circumstances.
Ricky November 03, 2012 at 03:49 PM
>>How to get to polls without cars or gas? This is not going to work.<<< Well she didn't add anything about not being at her place of residence in her post. Of course if you just moved in with someone way off somewhere then thats a different story. Besides, this gas situation will ease within days now. We had this same angst and anxiety mode back in 1973 and then it got better with odd/even.
Ricky November 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM
>> It is unreasonable to expect people to be able to get to the polls when there is little access to gas and power and safe travel.<< She did not add anything in her post about having moved away from her residence. Of course if that happens it's a longer ride and a different story. But again, this gas angst and anxiety will ease within days just like it did in 1973 when odd/even was put in place. You get people with a half tank and even more pulling into any open station just because they want the guage to always be near the full mark 'just in case'. That gets taken care of by odd/even just like it did in '73.
esther November 03, 2012 at 03:57 PM
There are 49 states not affected by this storm-do you really think changing the date is the solution? Polls could be open earlier and later-people could actually bike or walk if they had to. Quite frankly, the gas "crisis" should ease as more places get back on line.
Sharon azran November 03, 2012 at 08:23 PM
We needed to leave the state to find lodging. If we had voter ID, we could have used our driver's license as ID at any polling place. Thanks Messrs. Holder and Obama, you figured out another way to cause voting manipulation.
Rick November 04, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Esther, 49 other states that were not affected by the storm? Have you seen the pictures from New York? (BTW, I am not the same person as "Ricky"
Ricky November 04, 2012 at 09:33 AM
>>(BTW, I am not the same person as "Ricky"<<< Good point lol. There's also a Ric, reminder, patch registered names can be used throughout the whole region, not just your one hometown site page.
Terry November 04, 2012 at 09:46 AM
Except that that's a crock. I have ID up the wazoo but could not vote out of state in any circumstance, nor could you even if Palin were queen of your rodeo.
kenjos November 04, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I just called Ramsey County Clerk office (no answer in Mahwah) and was told all early voting is happening in Hackensack....so there's the answer to my question.
Sunny Brooks November 04, 2012 at 05:21 PM
No one has been more displaced than me, my home was in a fire and I've been living from friend to friend. I still plan on finding a way to vote, considering going to County Clerks office, today. You know the old saying, where there's a will, there's a way
Lindy Wilson November 04, 2012 at 05:28 PM
For displaced voters there is now an email and fax option; http://www.state.nj.us/governor/news/news/552012/approved/20121103d.html If you still don't know your options please call League of Women Voters of NJ Hotline; Hotline: 1-800-792-VOTE (8683)
MELISSA BENNO November 04, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Lindy THANK YOU!!!!! I escaped to Rochester, NY, 300 miles away, :-p @Ricky, and was facing a drive back before my power is back on in order to vote. Yaaaaaayyyy!!!!!
Betsy November 05, 2012 at 03:26 AM
In Morris County all of the ballot boxes can run on 48 hour battery. Also we have been told that generators will be running at the locations so we don't freeze as we are voting.
Betsy November 05, 2012 at 03:30 AM
There is no centeralized voter registery. There is no way of being able to tell if you voted one place and than another and another. Until then (this of course also means that you have electricity and internet) the current way of doing it is the best we can hope for.
Betsy November 05, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Election offices have been burning the midnight oil. We went on Saturday at 3:00 p.m We waited in line, filled out paperwork and then our ballot. It took less than an hour. Morris County Elections is doing a great job.
Betsy November 05, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Postponing is not possible, (the constitution is the biggest reason), All the election laws that came about because of the Election of 2000 dictates that all machines must have battery power backup plus 1 additional battery. Where I am going it is going to be cold, but election is important to me.
Journey November 05, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Consider this. I'm a visually impaired NJ voter who evacuated via a ride from family to Lancaster, PA. There is still no power at my house. Tomorrow is Election Day. How long does it take to walk 141 miles? I don't own a teleporter.
Journey November 05, 2012 at 06:43 PM
What is it with the coach spam?
Rebecca November 05, 2012 at 07:17 PM
if u have a cell phone, send a text with your address to 877877 they will let you know where to go to vote since some of the usual places to vote still have no power.
Journey November 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Please, do something about the coach spam.
Mark November 14, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Your posts are getting tired. We get that you want people to walk but please give it a rest. BTW- I'm not Ricky either
Natalie Davis (Editor) November 23, 2012 at 05:42 AM
We're trying, believe me. Whoever is behind this is crafty.


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