By Maria Aguilar |Staff Writer|
Election day could be affected after Hurricane Sandy swept through the east coast. Approximately 8 million people are without power across 15 states as of Oct. 31.
As of Thursday afternoon, 111 polling locations have no power and 41 are running on generators in Long Island, according to the Long Island Press.
“Any delay in the election would be up to the states. It’s not a federal decision. So it would be case by case,” said NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd.
President Obama declared parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey major disaster areas, according to a NBC news special report, yesterday. The damage has many state officials visiting their polling locations and assessing the damage.
With Nov. 6 around the corner, some polling locations may need to be moved to Long Island and several other states. If generators are not available to aid and open precincts then voters will have to use paper ballots.
Presidential campaigning has been delayed for both parties. President Obama stopped his Florida campaign on Monday and Tuesday’s scheduled campaigning in Wisconsin and Colorado, according to cbsnews.com.
“I’m not worried at this point about the impact on the election,” said President Obama in a live broadcast to the nation Monday morning, “The election will take care of itself next week. Right now our number one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives, that our search and rescue teams are going to be in place.”
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney also canceled Tuesday’s campaigning plans in New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Virginia, but attended Ohio as planned. He showed concern for those on the east coast, while staying focused on his campaign.
“I know the people of the Atlantic Coast are counting on Ohio and the rest of our states. But I also think the people of the entire nation are counting on Ohio, because my guess is, that if Ohio votes me in as President, I will be the next President of the United States,” Romney said during his campaign on Monday.
Romney resumed his campaigning schedule on Wednesday, according to Fox News
Hurricane Sandy has left residents on the east coast without power. This may have many affects on the election.
Without power, polling places will need to resort to paper ballots, televised campaign ads will not be seen by swing states and many residents will remain evacuated from their homes. According to an NBC news special report, tens of thousands residents remain evacuated and it may take days to weeks to restore the power.
Aside from downed power lines, flooded streets has affected transportation. Water rushed into ground zero, lower Manhattan, and into the subway system.
Transportation is vital for registered voters to commute to their polling places. As of Wednesday Oct. 31, the subway system will remain out of service for another 4 to 5 days, the PATH train service between Manhattan and New Jersey will be suspended for 7 to 10 days. Free bus service will be provided and 4,000 cabs are running on city streets, according to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
The effects of Hurricane Sandy in New York, has affected Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s position and has endorsed President Obama for a second term. Bloomberg, an independent, believes climate change is the cause of Hurricane Sandy, according to an ABC report.
The events of Hurricane Sandy and President Obama’s leadership won Bloomberg’s support, claiming President Obama is the best leader to tackle climate change.
It is unknown when President Obama will resume his campaign schedule.
The outcomes of Hurricane Sandy will show on election day.