Hurricane Sandy has done more than destroy property and put homes, businesses and residents in disarray: it may just throw a wrench into tomorrow’s Election Day processes. In New Jersey, one of the hardest-hit states by the storm, some residents may be able to cast their votes by e-mail and fax. State election officials made the announcement on Saturday. The option is already open to New Jersey voters overseas and in the military.
The process goes like this: a resident must submit a mail-in ballot application by fax or email to the local county clerk. The ballot, which differs depending on which county a voter resides, may be downloaded from this page. When the request is received, the ballot should be e-mailed or faxed back directly to the voter’s county clerk. Ballots must be returned no later than 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday. A list of county clerk Web sites, phone numbers and fax numbers is available here.
New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno said in a statement that the effort will help alleviate pressure on polling places Tuesday and further ensure a transparent election, the Associated Press (News - Alert) is reporting today. Officials say electronic voting is also an option for first responders working in the aftermath of the storm.
“This has been an extraordinary storm that has created unthinkable destruction across our state and we know many people have questions about how and where to cast their vote in Tuesday’s election,” said Guadagno. “To help alleviate pressure on polling places, we encourage voters to either use electronic voting or the extended hours at county offices to cast their vote,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “Despite the widespread damage Hurricane Sandy has caused, New Jersey is committed to working through the enormous obstacles before us to hold an open and transparent election befitting our state and the resiliency of its citizens.”
While interruptions to the voting process due to storms and other crises isn’t a new thing, states today are better able to ensure that all voters have an opportunity to cast their ballot thanks to the widespread adoption of broadband Internet connectivity and technologies such as cloud-based fax over IP, which allows users to connect to the Internet from any location and access inbound faxes as well as send outbound faxes.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi