New Yorkers Vote in Shadow of Sandy

Voters sign in to vote at busy polling station at East Elementary School early Tuesday, November 6, 2012, in Long Beach, N.Y., one of several voting locations that were created as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
Voters sign in to vote at busy polling station at East Elementary School early Tuesday, November 6, 2012, in Long Beach, N.Y., one of several voting locations that were created as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
Margaret Besheer
New Yorkers are going to the polls in sunny, but frigid, weather to cast ballots in the U.S. general election.  In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, special voting arrangements were made to ensure as many eligible voters as possible could get to the polls. 

Board of Election officials relocated several polling sites because of power outages and damage after Sandy swept through the northeastern United States eight days ago.

Special buses have been deployed to hard hit areas to shuttle voters to polling stations.  In some locations, multiple districts have been consolidated into a single site - sometimes in a tent - where people can vote.

Watch related video of voters in Manhattan's East Village
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday he signed an executive order allowing registered voters, who are displaced, to go to any polling station to cast their ballot.

“There are complications on election day, because you have people who are displaced, you have people who are in shelters, you have people who are staying at a friend's house, people who are staying at a family's house, and it's often a far distance from their residence and a far distance from their original polling place.  We want everyone to vote, just because you are displaced does not mean you should be disenfranchised," said Cuomo.

About an hour after polls opened, problems were reported at a few voting centers.  One makeshift site opened late after electric generators failed to work.

Some voters expressed concern voter turnout in the city might be lower than normal because of Sandy's aftereffects.

“I think in some areas it will be [affected] because of the electricity and because of people's priorities," said one female voter.

 "The storm kind of tampers the excitement some," another female voter said, "I think, knowing that there are so many people that probably will not even get to vote, they are just trying to get their homes back together.”

While some might worry the amended voting procedures could introduce opportunities for voter fraud, this elderly voter thinks they are a good idea.

“No, I am not worried about voter fraud.  I hope it opens up alternate ways to vote in the future," she said.

Voters in New York City are voting for either incumbent President Barack Obama or challenger Mitt Romney.  One U.S. Senate seat is also being contested, as well as several state and local positions.

President Barack Obama shifted his focus from the presidential race on Tuesday to meet with top administration officials for an update on storm recovery efforts.  A White House statement released after the meeting says more than 263,000 people have applied for federal emergency assistance.

The storm killed more than 100 people in the United States and caused up to $50 billion in damages.
This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs