Difficult Election Day Ahead for NYC, NJ

VOA News
As the residents of New York and New Jersey struggle to recover from last week's "superstorm" Sandy, election officials are struggling to make sure that those residents get a chance to cast their votes Tuesday.

Both New York and New Jersey state governments have enacted measures letting voters vote at polling places other than their own, and New Jersey is to allow people to vote by email and fax - a move that will not do much to help the more than one million people still waiting for the power to return.

Fuel shortages and a crippled public transportation system are expected to cripple voters' efforts to get to their polling stations.

A few New Jersey counties have delivered provisional ballots to emergency shelters. New York City is running shuttle buses to help residents get to to the polls.

But critics fear storm-related complications could result in low voter turnout that could affect the outcome of the election. Some storm victims have said they have too many other problems to make the time to vote this year. And some polling stations damaged by last week's storm have been relocated, raising fears that would-be voters will have trouble finding them.

In better news, the memorial on the site of World Trade Center destroyed by terrorists in 2001 is reopening Tuesday, after a week of closure due to flooding from the storm.

New York City public schools reopened Monday after a week's closure. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said attendance was about 86 percent.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says more than 200,000 people affected by the storm have applied for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and that $192 million has been released so far.

The storm killed more than 100 people in the United States and caused up to $50 billion in damages.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
 

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