Updated 10/31/2012 05:36 PM
Sandy could impact voters
Election Day is less than a week away, but the effects of Sandy may have an impact on voting day. Erin Connolly has more.
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NEW YORK STATE -- Sandy has certainly left her mark on New York State. While much of upstate was spared, New York City and Long Island is left to pick up the pieces Sandy left behind. With Election Day less than a week away, many are wondering whether this storm will impact the results of our state races. Two years of work by both parties, up in the air.
Bruce Gyory, a political consultant and political science professor, said, "I don't think we've had a national or state election with less than a sense of outcome than this one.”
Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate. However, there are a number of close races in areas with lots of damage, including one on Long Island, two in New York City and one in Westchester County. This damage will presumably affect voter turnout.
For instance, the race between Democratic Incumbent Joe Adabo and Republican Eric Ulrich. According to a recent Siena Poll, it's one of the tightest matchups in the state, one the Republican Party has put a lot of money into. But that district includes Rockaway Beach and Breezy Point, two locations absolutely devastated by Sandy. It begs the question, could the balance of power be shifted as a result of the storm?
Gyory said, "You will find all kinds of theories as to who it will help and who it will hurt, but we really don't know. There's no precedent for this.”
What we know for sure is people with the New York State Board of Elections will be meeting over the next couple of days to assess the conditions of the various polling sites and make a determination whether some locations will need to be consolidated.
John Conklin, the spokesperson for the New York State Board of Elections, said, "They're looking at them to see if they have power, whether they're still accessible by public, whether voting machines can get there, and whether they're structurally sound and safe for the public to go in and out of.”
While getting out to vote may not be the most important thing on some people's minds as they rebuild and recover, they are still being encouraged to cast their ballots.
Gyory said, "What you see historically is when people feel their vote counts, they're more likely to vote. This year their vote counts. Let’s hope they go out and vote.”
There has also been the question of whether Election Day could be postponed as a result of Sandy. The spokesperson for the Board of Elections tells us he is confident Election Day will happen on Tuesday, November 6th.