Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on Early Vote

Publish:  Oct 29, 2012


The Atlas Project has put together a summary of changes being made to registration, early vote and absentee vote deadlines in states impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Please check our blog regularly for updates on how the storm may have affected the election in your state.

Come Election Day, The Atlas Project will also have you covered with all the breaking news and election results analysis of the day. Make sure you are signed up for our Election Coverage E-mail alerts to make sure you are in the know this Election Day.

We hope you stay safe during the storm.

Last Updated: 10/30, 12:05pm

 

 

  • Connecticut: Governor Daniel Malloy signed an executive order extending the in-person voter registration deadline from October 30 at 8:00 p.m. to November 1 at 8:00 p.m.[1] Connecticut does not offer in-person early voting or no-excuse vote by mail.[2]
  • Delaware: Delaware does not offer early in-person voting or no-excuse absentee voting.[3] The state’s registration deadline passed on October 13, 2012.[4] No changes to voting in Delaware have been announced.
  • District of Columbia: Early voting in the District of Columbia has been suspended for Monday October 29 due to Hurricane Sandy.[5] Voting has also been canceled on Tuesday. [31] Early voting began on October 27 and is slated to run through November 3.[6]
  • Florida: Hurricane Sandy did not impact early voting in Florida.
  • Georgia: Hurricane Sandy did not impact early voting in Georgia.
  • Maine: Maine allows no-excused vote by mail.[7]  Absentee ballots must be requested by Thursday, November 1.[8]  There is no change to voting due to the storm.
  • Maryland: Governor Martin O’Malley issued a pair of executive orders canceling early voting on Monday, October 29, 2012. As a result, early voting will be extended one day, through Friday, November 2.  According to state elections administrator Linda Lamone, voting cannot be extended past Friday because poll workers need to prepare for regular voting on November 6 .[9] Voting on Tuesday has been canceled.   Early voting will resume tomorrow, October 31 and will run through Friday November 2. Hours will be extended to 8am – 9pm. Early voting in Maryland began on October 27.[10]
  • Massachusetts: Massachusetts does not offer in-person early voting or no-excused vote by mail.[11] There is no change to voting due to the storm.
  • New Hampshire: New Hampshire does not offer in-person early voting or no-excused vote by mail.[12] There is no change to voting due to the storm.
  • New Jersey: New Jersey offers no-excuse absentee voting, but as of 10:00am on Tuesday had not announced whether its application deadline would be extended. Mail-in ballot applications are due on October 30.[13] New Jersey does not allow voters to cast ballots early in-person.[14]
  • New York: New York does not offer in-person early voting or no-excused vote by mail. The state’s voter registration and absentee ballot application deadlines have already passed.[15] [16] The state Board of Elections is warning voters that because of Hurricane Sandy “poll site information for the November 6 2012 election may change.”[17]
  • North Carolina: Hurricane Sandy prompted early voting sites in Dare and Ocracoke Counties to be closed on October 27. Early voting was also affected in Pamlico County, where polls closed an hour early on October 27, at 4:00 p.m. instead of the scheduled 5:00 p.m. Early voting in Pamlico County canceled on October 28.[18]. Early voting was suspended at the Fessended Center in Dare County on October 30 due to flooding.[33]
  • Ohio: Ohio allows in-person early voting and no-excused vote by mail.[19]  Early Voting runs from October 2 – November 5.[20]  There is no change to voting due to the storm.
  • Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania does not offer in-person early voting or no-excused vote by mail.[21]  There is no change to voting due to the storm.
  • Rhode Island: Rhode Island does not offer in-person early voting or no-excused vote by mail.[22] There is no change to voting due to the storm.
  • South Carolina: South Carolina does not offer early in-person voting or no-excuse vote by mail.[23] The storm did not impact voting in the state.
  • Vermont: Vermont allows early voting by no-excuse absentee ballot.[24] Absentee ballot requests must be submitted by 5pm the day before the election.[25]  There is no change to voting due to the storm.
  • Virginia: On October 29, 21 voter offices in Virginia suspended in-person absentee voting (excuse required). Most of these offices were in Northern Virginia.[26] On October 30, voter offices in nine jurisdictions (Accomack County, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, Norton City, Tazewell County, and Wise County) remained closed.[34] Absentee ballots returned by mail are due on October 30, but some jurisdictions where the voter office was closed will accept these ballots after the deadline, once the office reopens and mail resumes.[35] Governor Bob McDonnell said his administration will ask country registrars to extend early voting hours on evenings and over the weekend.[27] State Board of Elections Secretary Don Palmer issued a statement saying: “Unless conditions render the voting process unsafe for general registrars and employees and voters, SBE encourages general registrars to keep the general registrar office open and to continue the in-person voting process.”[28]
  • West Virginia: West Virginia allows in-person early voting but does not allow no-excused vote by mail.[29]  Early Voting hours are set by county, and runs from October 24 – November 3.[30]  There is no change to voting due to the storm. The secretary of state said early voting would continue, but urged counties to develop contingency plans. These counties have suspended Early Voting for Tuesday, October 30 ONLY: Braxton, Jefferson, Morgan, Nicholas, Preston, and Randolph. [32]


[1]Executive Order No. 21,” State of Connecticut, October 28, 2012.

[2]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[3]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[4]Voter Registration,” The State of Delaware, accessed October 29, 2012.

[6]Early Voting Information,” District of Columbia Board of Elections, accessed October 29, 2012.

[7]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[8]Absentee Ballots,” Maine Secretary of State, accessed October 29, 2012.

[9]Executive Order 01.01.2012.21,” State of Maryland Executive Department, accessed October 29, 2012.

[10] Maryland State Board of Elections, accessed October 29, 2012.

[11]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[12]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[13]Vote By Mail Application,” New Jersey Department of State, accessed October 29, 2012.

[14]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[15]Voter Registration Deadlines,” New York Board of Elections, accessed October 29, 2012.

[16]Absentee Voting,” New York Board of Elections, accessed October 29, 2012.

[17]Changes Due to Hurricane Sandy,” New York State Board of Elections, accessed October 29, 2012.

[18]Hurricane Sandy Update #2,” State Board of Elections, accessed October 29, 2012.

[19]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[20]Early Voting,” Ohio Secretary of State, accessed October 29, 2012.

[21]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[22]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[23]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[24]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[25] “Vermont Election Laws”, accessed October 29, 2012.

[26] Chris Good, “How Sandy Affects Early Voting in Swing States,” ABC News, October 29, 2012.

[27] Michael Martz, “State Will Ask Voter Registrars to Extend Hours,” Richmond Times Dispatch, October 29, 2012.

[28]State Board of Elections and Local Election Officials Prepared for Hurricane Sandy,” Virginia State Board of Elections, October 27, 2012.

[29]Absentee and Early Voting,” National Conference of State Legislatures, September 4, 2012.

[30]Early Voting,” West Virginia Secretary of State, accessed October 29, 2012.

[31]  “Voting has also been canceled on Tuesday.”  DC Board of Elections, Accessed 10/29

[32] “Early Voting Suspended In Several West Virginia Counties,” West Virginia Secretary of State, accessed October 30, 2012.

[33] North Carolina State Board of Elections, accessed October 30, 2012.

[34]Emergency Closing,” Virginia Board of Elections, accessed October 30, 2012.

[35] Raytevia Evans, “Mail-in Deadline Extended,” Annandale Patch, October 29, 2012