Military To Take Over NJ Elections

In the wake of the damage brought to the northeastern United States, particularly New Jersey, and growing concerns not only about how to get the city back up and running and the election just days away, the U.S. military is stepping up. Most polling areas that are expected to be without power will be replaced by the Department of Defense providing military trucks and paper ballots in some of these locations.

The Associated Press reports,

New Jersey will deploy military trucks to serve as polling places on Election Day in storm-battered communities, the state secretary of the state announced Thursday during a visit to this flood-ravaged town. The state is also extending the deadline on mail-in ballots.

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Department of Defense trucks will be parked at regular polling places that have lost power, as long as the sites are still accessible. Paper ballots will be used.

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Republican Secretary of State and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said voters will find "a DOD truck with a well-situated National Guardsman and a big sign saying, "Vote Here."

So far there is no official status, as relating to being without power, of the 3,000 polling places.

There is no question that the paper ballots are a bit more reliable than the hackable electronic voting machines. However counting those votes could take far longer to do.

In addition, New York City was heavily hit with flooding and power outages and has extended their deadlines for absentee ballots. CNN reports,

New York, one of the states hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy, has extended the deadline for absentee ballots and applications not delivered or requested in person, the State Board of Elections said.

New York City’s election preparation efforts have also been hampered by flooding, power outages, and transportation shutdowns. The city’s election board said their offices in Manhattan and Staten Island were closed and phone hotline was not operating correctly, but that additional staff had been assigned to handle absentee ballots and election preparations.

The state’s original deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail or phone was this last Tuesday, when the storm was battering parts of the state, but the elections board said the deadline has been extended through Friday. While absentee ballots returned by mail can not be postmarked after Monday, the elections board extended by nearly a week the window for those ballots to be received.

The deadline for voters to submit an absentee ballot in person has not changed from Monday, the board said.

Nassua County is facing nine out of ten polling stations to be without power and nearly seven in ten are flooded, one wonders why there is the need for military in Jersey and not in New York.

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