Nov 4 As many as 143,000 New York City voters
will have to find new places to vote other than their regular
polling locations on Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on
Sunday, declaring that local elections officials are having
"real problems" coping with disruptions caused by superstorm
The New York Board of Elections has been scrambling to find
alternate sites for balloting with only two days remaining
before the presidential election. The board plans to set up a
series of voting "supersites" to accommodate voters from
precincts hardest hit by the destruction caused by Sandy, which
swept through the area on Monday night.
"They have real problems and we've got to make sure that
everybody can vote," Bloomberg said. "Over the next day, it's
going to be critical that the Board of Elections communicate
this to their poll workers."
The mayor lambasted the board for what he called a poor
history of communicating to its workers and its own members.
The fact that the board has been unable to appoint a new
executive director for the last two years is one sign of "just
how dysfunctional it is," Bloomberg said.
A spokesperson for the board did not return calls seeking
The board advised residents early on Sunday that it would
relocate and combine 60 poll sites, including 28 site changes in
Queens and 24 in Brooklyn, areas hit hard by the storm.
Five of the largest supersites will contain 32 different
poll sites. The largest supersite combined nine different poll
sites into one in Queens.
New York City is not the only jurisdiction struggling with
Election Day preparations in Sandy's wake.
In Nassau County, Board of Elections Commissioner William
Biamonte said there had been great improvements since after the
storm, when half of the county's 375 polling places did not have
power. As of Saturday, only 50 poll sites were still without
electricity and 50 more would be powered by temporary
generators. In the state's barrier islands, the board had
created four poll supersites.
In both New Jersey and New York, government officials
expressed concern that voters displaced from their homes would
not be able to return to their local poll sites to vote in