Hurricane Sandy has disrupted the lives of New Yorkers across the state, but that won't stop New Yorkers from exercising the right to vote in what has been the most expensive presidential race in American history.
Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order that all voters who have been displaced by the hurricane can vote by affidavit ballot at any polling site across the state. "Just because you're displaced doesn't mean you should be disenfranchised," he declared.
This is undoubtedly an imperfect solution — there are security risks associated with affidavit or provisional voting. Voters sign a document to state that they are registered to vote although their names are not listed on that particular polling station's list of voters. Provisional voting also complicates how votes for the U.S. Congress and New York State Senate and Assembly are counted, because voters fill out ballots printed with candidates who are not from their own districts.
In New York City, the relocation of polling stations might discourage voters from going out of their way to cast their ballot. The city's election board has arranged for shuttle buses to get voters in the hardest-hit areas — the Rockaways, Coney Island and Staten Island — to and from polling stations.
Despite all the setbacks, New York will go to the polls with the rest of the states. In its own twisted way, Hurricane Sandy has demonstrated the need for a President who can calmly handle a crisis and limit its devastation to human lives. New York, its time to vote!
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