Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Another Storm is Brewing, and It Will Hit On Election Day

Just when the Eastern seaboard was starting to get back on its feet after Sandy, the National Weather Service announced that another storm may be coming, and it could hit on election day.

According to a statement issued by the organization, although the storm will not be nearly as powerful as Sandy, its timing could not be worse. The Nor’easter could make landfall, “by election day into next Thursday.” Many pundits have already predicted that the loss of power, blocked roads, and suspended public transit caused by Hurricane Sandy this week could lead to lower voter turnout. If the New England and the Mid Atlantic states are experiencing rain and possible snow, it will make getting to the polls even more difficult.

Additionally, according to Accuweather’s map, this upcoming storm is likely to affect areas farther to the north. Since most of New England is polling blue for Obama, low voter turnout in these areas probably won’t cost him any states, but it will decrease his margin of victory within them.

Accuweather describes the potential forecast: "Any storm along or off the coast will kick up some wind, surf and seas. The difference being for coastal concerns is whether winds would blow onshore or offshore, and that is dependent on the track.

At least the storm does not appear to be the type to bring extensive damage, but a track near the coast could push the tide up a bit with the potential for additional beach erosion and minor overwash in unprotected areas.

If the storm were to track just right and enough cold air were to enter the storm, accumulating snow could even fall in some inland locations as well as those near the coast."

This storm is critical, because even if the president does win by Electoral College vote, low voter turnout could lead to a reverse Bush vs. Gore scenario. The president could win the Electoral College, but not the popular vote.

If President Obama doesn’t win in these blue states by very high margins, it could call into question the already dubious Electoral College system, especially because red states, like Texas, are historically won with high margins. If there is another split decision, given the already unprecedented closeness of this election, both sides will undoubtedly ask for recounts. This would delay the process for weeks, if not longer.  

Which means, we might not know who our president is until just about inauguration day, 2013.  

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marni Chan

Marni has a M.A. from NYU's Arthur Carter Journalism Institute's Cultural Reporting and Criticism Program, where she studied under Susie Linfield, Katie Roiphe, and Dennis Lim. She also has a B.A. in history and politics from Pomona College. Marni has previously written for Forbes, AOL, and Conde Nast Traveler.

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