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Some N.Y. voters may have extra day

Nov. 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Some New York voters may get an extra day to vote if disruptions caused by megastorm Sandy prevent enough people from casting ballots, a state official said.

State Board of Elections spokesman Thomas Connolly said county election officials could ask the board to allow polls to reopen for another day if Tuesday's turnout is below 25 percent, CNN reported Monday.

"To my knowledge, this has never happened in New York," Connolly said. "Will the turnout be low? It's hard to say -- probably, it all depends if people have other priorities."

The state elections board would consider a county's request and, if approved, another voting day would be scheduled within 20 days of Election Day, Connolly said. Polls would be open for 11 hours on the second day. Only voters who were eligible to vote on Tuesday would be allowed to do so on the second day.

Election officials relocated and consolidated 40 polling sites and another 30 will be powered by portable generators, officials said.

Nassau County Elections Commissioner William Biamonte told CNN he expects a "significant drop-off" in the turnout of Long Island voters. The county's elections office in Mineola has been open each day from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. to allow people to vote.

"Our front counter has been besieged with people coming in and voting by absentee," Biamonte said.

The New York City Board of Elections decided to temporarily relocate or combine some polling locations serving143,000 voters across the five boroughs because of last week's storm damage, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday.

Bloomberg said he was concerned about polls being opened on time, and poll workers and voters knowing where to go.

"The difficulties they've had in planning for Tuesday further underscores that," he said.

Also, forecasters are predicting a storm early this week.

"The weather is not going to be a friend on Tuesday," Biamonte said. "We're going to get very cold weather with a nor'easter coming our way again on Wednesday."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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