Andrew Cuomo Clears Way for Statewide Voting for Displaced New Yorkers

Posted November 5, 2012 at 7:20pm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed an executive order Monday allowing voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote at any polling place in the state, with some limitations.

At a press conference late Monday, Cuomo announced that he would allow voters in affected areas to cast ballots by affidavit for president and statewide races at any polling place in the state. Voters using this option will not be able to vote in local races, including for Members of the House.

Unlike in New Jersey, New York voters will not be allowed to cast absentee ballots by email or fax.

Barring displaced New Yorkers from voting in their House races could have an effect on some contests in the New York metropolitan area, including Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop’s eastern Long Island-based 1st district and the Staten Island-anchored 11th district held by Republican Rep. Michael Grimm.

Bishop is in a rematch of his 2010 race with businessman Randy Altschuler (R). The Democrat squeaked out a victory last cycle by 593 votes, but Bishop is expected to have an easier time with President Barack Obama easily carrying New York. Polling shows Grimm with a healthy lead.

The option to vote by affidavit will be available to registered voters in Rockland and Westchester counties, as well as those on Long Island and in New York City.

Under the procedure, a voter would sign an affidavit affirming his or her identity and eligibility to vote in a part of the state affected by Sandy. The voter would cast a provisional ballot for the statewide races, including for president.

Connecticut expects far fewer disruptions than either New York or New Jersey. Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced Monday that only two polling places in the state will be relocated because of the storm.