Monday, October 29, 2012

Could Hurricane Sandy Delay the Election?



 landfall of Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City

             Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images.
As Hurricane Sandy begins battering the East Coast, many people in the storm’s path are preparing for days of power outages. Meanwhile, pundits are asking how the storm could affect the outcome of the presidential election. If there are still widespread power outages on the East Coast come Nov. 6, could the election be postponed?

Yes, but the details of the postponement would vary state by state. Many states have constitutional provisions or statutes that detail their ability to suspend or reschedule an election in the event of an emergency. For instance, a section of the election law in Maryland (which is being hit heavily by Sandy) allows the governor to postpone an election or specify alternate voting locations when issuing an emergency proclamation, and it allows the state election board to “petition a circuit court to take any action the court considers necessary to provide a remedy that is in the public interest and protects the integrity of the electoral process” in the event of extraordinary circumstances that don’t constitute a state of emergency. As for states without specific provisions of statutes, the governor could still reasonably use his or her emergency powers to suspend the election during a state of emergency. The exact person or people who get to decide whether an election is postponed or extended varies from state to state, too; in some cases, it’s the governor or the secretary of state, while in others the power belongs to the state board of elections.

Read the rest of the story at Could Hurricane Sandy Delay the Election?


Business Week is reporting that hurricane Sandy could delay the release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Monthly Jobs Report scheduled for this Friday.

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