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Could Hurricane Sandy Postpone the Election? [VIDEO]

Hurricane Sandy from space

I mentioned on my video blog yesterday that I voted early (click here if you missed it).  Then today, I was combing through news about the devastation of Hurricane Sandy out East, and I came across an interesting question that I hadn’t thought of:  What if all those people affected by the storm aren’t able to get out and vote?  Could the election be pushed back?

Turns out, probably not.

According to CNN, federal law requires the Presidential Election to be held as planned on November 6th, across the entire country.  However, there are ways for certain areas to get partial voting postponements.

Here’s a quick lesson in politics.  When we vote at the polls, we aren’t actually voting for the president.  We are actually voting for representatives in our state’s Electoral College who represent the different candidates.  Those representatives are the ones to give the final decision on who the state votes for.

The law that sets election day also gives states a little leeway with choosing the reps for the Electoral college.

But to exercise that leeway, a state must have “held an election for the purpose of choosing electors,” and “failed to make a choice on the day prescribed by law.” When that happens, the law says “the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in such manner as the legislature of such state may direct.”


So basically, it looks like each state has to at least try to hold the election on Election Day. Then, if they don’t get enough votes to accurately choose their reps for the Electoral College, the affected states would have the chance to continue voting.

So if you’re in our neck of the woods, be ready to vote on time (or early, like I did)!

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