Sandy adds twist to local race
Nov 07, 2012 | 10870 views | 0 0 comments | 98 98 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As if voting in New York City isn’t already a mess on a normal election day – not withstanding when there is a presidential election – Hurricane Sandy is making things downright ridiculous.

First, there is the issue of the super polling places, which were set up for voters whose normal polling place was either destroyed or left without power thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

Early Tuesday morning, people were already reporting long lines and long waits to cast a ballot.

Then there is Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order that a voter anywhere in New York State can turn up at any polling place and cast their vote, although they would only be allowed to vote for president and statewide elections.

That was a good idea, and needed to be done. What also needed to be done was to announce it sooner than the day before Election Day and let poll workers know about the policy.

Also on early Tuesday morning, we were hearing from people that they were getting turned away when they tried to vote outside of their home district, which means they will likely be sitting this presidential election out.

It would have been, of course, impossible to postpone the election with the rest of the country headed to the polls today to vote for president, it just looks like a less-than-fair election and some disenfranchised voters in 2012 are going to be added to the list of the lingering consequences of Hurricane Sandy.

Let’s hope it doesn’t dramatically affect any of the races.

Oh wait, it’s going to dramatically affect at least one race.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilman Eric Ulrich have been locked in a dogfight for the past few months battling for Addabbo’s seat in Albany.

For decades that seat was held by a Republican, and Ulrich was hoping to return the seat to GOP control, which would be a big deal in the fragile partisan balance in the State Senate.

Where Ulrich was really counting on support was from the Rockaway Peninsula, including the community of Breezy Point, which is – was, sadly - home to Congressman Bob Turner, a Republican who shocked everybody when he defeated Assemblyman David Weprin for Anthony Weiner’s old seat.

Now those residents and possible Ulrich supporters are worried about where they are going to live – some of their homes were completely destroyed not only by the hurricane but a devastating fire – let alone who they are going to send to Albany.

In this particular race, Hurricane Sandy is going to play a big role, and with so many people voting at polling places outside their district or using absentee ballots, political pundits will be dissecting how this devastating storm impacted this close race for months.

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