Thursday, November 1 2012, 12:30 PM MDT
Could Sandy Aftermath Affect Election Day?
By Heidi Hatch
(KUTV) When hurricane Sandy slammed into the east coast on Monday, it totally blew up the election and campaign schedule in the Northeast. In states like New Hampshire, many polling sites are flooded and
without power. That brings up the question: What happens if some states are not ready to vote next Tuesday? There is no short answer.
Super storm Sandy is unprecedented for many different reasons, but one thing is for sure. Never in our Nation’s history has an election day been moved. The only way it can happen, is if Congress meets and
moves it for every single state- and that we're told is not going to happen. This afternoon we sat down with Kirk Jowers, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah to get
answers. He said, a delay for a state "would be beyond unprecedented" he went on to say he thinks attorneys on both sides are looking at it very closely.
Sandy, as we know, has ripped apart cities and now stands to tear apart a nation already deeply divided on the political front. A change of days or delay for even one or two precincts, let alone states
could cause major issues. Jowers believes every state in the end will be capable of pulling off the election in large part. But he did say power outages could make it difficult since most of the nation
now votes on electronic machines that need constant power- not a generator. Jowers said, "If it is a close race, small problems become huge problems. If it is a blow-out then large problems are no
problems. That is the beauty and danger of our system." The real danger comes if one particular neighborhood favored by one side or the other is washed out by the storm can't get to the polls. Jowers
gives the example that if Obama voters are disadvantaged by this, the ripple would be some kind of legal challenge over whether the closing cost him the election and vice versa.
Sandy stands to alter the election before it even happens. President Obama, as Commander in Chief has as Jowers said, "had the national stage for three days to himself." Adding to Romney's worries is
that Republican Governor Chris Christie has been praising the President's efforts. This could sway voters who were not completely sold on their choice. Seeing the President in a time of crisis doing his
job could solidify a win. The timing couldn't have been worse for challenger Mitt Romney who was seeing constant momentum before the storm hit. He hit the campaign trail in Florida today and is carefully
treading the rough waters so as not to seem insensitive while not totally losing his message and momentum.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)