State of Elections

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Tag: Hurricane Sandy

Are Absentee Ballots as Helpful to Voters as They Appear to Be?

By: Alyssa Kaiser

My experience in voting with an absentee ballot in New Jersey in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, as well as the 2017 gubernatorial election, alerted my attention to flaws in the system. As an active voter, these experiences have left me to wonder if absentee voting is worth it. I am thankful that my home state of New Jersey has an absentee ballot system that allows me to vote as a New Jerseyite even though I go to school in Virginia. Although New Jersey’s absentee ballot rules are arguably less stringent than other states, I learned the hard way that absentee voting can be difficult.

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Hurricane Sandy and Election Day in New York: What Can we Learn From Disaster?

by Emily Lippolis

Big storms tend to bring out the Eagle Scout in all of us. Nature reminds us that we are not always in control of our access to basic necessities and our ability to move freely so we stock up and hunker down. When the storm passes, most of us end up a little better off. Now we know what our contingency plan is, we have canned goods and bottled water for the next storm, and we figure out what needs to be fixed around the house. You would think that the lessons most people learn from natural disasters would also inform our voting system, but sadly, they have not. If Sandy has taught us anything, it has been how weak our system is when it comes to overcoming disasters.  Continue reading

Hurricane Sandy: A Catalyst to Ingenuity and Accommodation in Voting

by Aaron C. Carter

With an estimated cost in the neighborhood of $50 billion dollars in damage, Hurricane Sandy ravaged much of the tri-state area causing catastrophic damage.  New Jersey got the worst of the violent storm and its damning effects. Flooding, fires, power outages and gas shortages have changed life considerably for many residents in the Garden State.   Routine activities are no longer routine.  Elected officials and residents have been forced to rethink various aspects of everyday life.  With Election Day fast approaching in the wake of a tragedy of titanic proportion, the time for accommodation and ingenuity arrived by necessity.  Races for New Jersey’s 14 electoral votes, 13 congressional seats, a senate seat and local elections, forced flexibility and adaptation to make sure residents are able to vote and have their voices heard. Continue reading

NYC League of Women Voters vs. Sandy & Partisanship: The Triumph of Community Over Mother Nature and the Need to End the Partisan Election Process

by Brenden Dougherty

The October surprise for the 2012 election cycle turned out not to be a terrorist attack or an extramarital affair, but rather a devastating super-storm that flooded portions of New York City and cut out power to millions of customers.  Many wondered if the damage to the city would cripple efforts to get voters to the polls on Election Day.  However, the League of Women Voters of New York City refused to surrender to the destruction.

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The League of Women Voters of the City of New York is an organization whose goal is to inform citizens about election matters and encourage citizens to vote.  On November 6, 2012, the organization pursued this mission with incredible vigor by assisting those voters affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Members set up a telephone hotline days before the election to answer questions from voters about whether their polling places would be open despite the damage from the floodwaters.  On the day prior to the election, league members answered more than 200 calls, and when the big day finally came, the League of Women Voters kept their phone hotline open from 8 in the morning until 9 at night.  Indeed, the organization was intent on ensuring that every resident in the city knew where to vote and how to get there, with particular emphasis on those without access to the Internet and those who were unable to withstand the heavy call volume coming into the Department of Elections.  As the League’s President Ashton Stewart stated on Election Day, “Our people power is minimal, but we’ve been keeping our four phone lines engaged all day, just letting people know where their nearest poll site is.”  Once the votes had been cast, the league’s work continued, with members traveling to polling locations to report the numbers to the Associated Press. Continue reading

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