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Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:06 PM

Sandy Power Outages Could Make Voting Impossible in 6+ States Where E-Voting is Only Option

Source: BRAD BLOG



Hurricane Sandy Power Outages Could Make Voting Impossible in Half a Dozen States Where Electronic Voting is Only Option for Voters

The National Weather Service has been telling us over the past several days that the serious impact of the super storm which is Hurricane Sandy is not to be underestimated. But there is another concern that has been keeping me awake over the past week or so.

NBC's Al Roker spelled out that concern briefly on Sunday's Meet the Press, explaining what I've been worrying about since it became clear that the storm could have serious ramifications on Election Day.

I'm not talking about the political ramifications about its effect on planned campaign events between now and Election Day, on Early Voting turnout, or even how it's handled by President Obama and FEMA, etc. I'm talking about the serious question of whether voters will be able to vote on Election Day at all, particularly in states which force voters to use electronic voting systems at the precincts.

"We expect massive power outages throughout the area," Roker told NBC's David Gregory (before Gregory hurried to ignore the comment entirely.) "As the system moves on shore it's going to be a long term effect. It's going to last for about 72 hours. And so we're talking about people who could be without power for at least 10 days. That, as you know, will take it right into Election Day. So what will people do if they can't get to the voting booth, or the voting booths don't have power?"

Good question, Al. And one we've warned about here for a number of years.

There are about a half a dozen states (listed below) directly in harm's way where voters are forced to use 100% unverifiable electronic voting systems on Election Day. In those locations, unless they have enough emergency paper ballots printed up to accommodate the entire electorate at precincts where power remains disrupted on Election Day, there could be very serious and unprecedented problems...

FULL STORY, LIST OF STATES WHERE E-VOTING THREATENED: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=9670


Read more: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=9670

52 replies, 7660 views

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Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sandy Power Outages Could Make Voting Impossible in 6+ States Where E-Voting is Only Option (Original post)
BradBlog Oct 2012 OP
tbennett76 Oct 2012 #1
democrat_patriot Oct 2012 #20
obamanut2012 Oct 2012 #24
Thav Oct 2012 #44
liberalmike27 Oct 2012 #49
thecrow Oct 2012 #41
silvershadow Oct 2012 #42
Blue Owl Oct 2012 #2
LineLineReply .
reflection Oct 2012 #6
EC Oct 2012 #3
sunnystarr Oct 2012 #13
obxhead Oct 2012 #17
reflection Oct 2012 #4
TalkingDog Oct 2012 #12
onecent Oct 2012 #36
Angleae Oct 2012 #38
TalkingDog Oct 2012 #47
tblue Oct 2012 #5
jenw2 Oct 2012 #7
obxhead Oct 2012 #18
jenw2 Oct 2012 #52
obamanut2012 Oct 2012 #25
condoleeza Oct 2012 #8
avebury Oct 2012 #9
siligut Oct 2012 #19
obamanut2012 Oct 2012 #26
siligut Oct 2012 #28
avebury Oct 2012 #34
Retrograde Oct 2012 #10
Zambero Oct 2012 #11
Twelve String Oct 2012 #14
progree Oct 2012 #33
libdem4life Oct 2012 #15
Mz Pip Oct 2012 #16
obamanut2012 Oct 2012 #21
humbled_opinion Oct 2012 #23
obamanut2012 Oct 2012 #27
Retrograde Oct 2012 #29
Posteritatis Oct 2012 #43
toman911 Oct 2012 #50
libdem4life Oct 2012 #31
humbled_opinion Oct 2012 #22
treestar Oct 2012 #39
humbled_opinion Oct 2012 #45
treestar Oct 2012 #48
Tab Oct 2012 #30
pstokely Oct 2012 #32
argiel1234 Oct 2012 #35
libdem4life Oct 2012 #37
treestar Oct 2012 #40
elleng Oct 2012 #46
Quantess Oct 2012 #51

Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:10 PM

1. They will print paper

 

ballots, worry about getting to election day first for those people

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Response to tbennett76 (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:04 PM

20. Can't print without power....

just sayin....

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Response to democrat_patriot (Reply #20)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:15 PM

24. All 50 states won't be without power

And, additionally, entire states won't be without power.

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Response to democrat_patriot (Reply #20)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 05:32 PM

44. They could get a decently sized diesel gennie brought in

Hooked up and going in half a day, that'd get the printers going again.

If they were just using standard laser printers, you could do that off a portable gas generator..

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Response to democrat_patriot (Reply #20)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 11:53 PM

49. Here is the Thing

There is a priority to whose power they turn back on--obviously things like hospitals, police offices, firehouses get some concern, then schools, and middle level importance, and I'd suspect most voting machines are there.

Even so, these days they get the majority of the power back on (here in Mobile, AL at least) within a few days, and well into the 90 percentile by a week. So it probably won't be a problem.

IF they go to paper ballots, with some of the voting machines owned by Tagg's company, it might be a blessing in disguise.

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Response to tbennett76 (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 05:05 PM

41. I just talked to the head of my local Democratic organization

here in Virginia and she told me that if the power is out, they have ALREADY printed the paper ballots.

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Response to thecrow (Reply #41)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 05:08 PM

42. Hope so. Hope they printed enough for more than the entire 2008 voting numbers. nt

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:11 PM

2. Mother Nature to Hart InterCivic: GO FUCK YOURSELF

n/t

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Response to Blue Owl (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:13 PM

6. .

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:12 PM

3. In Ohio in 2004 when there weren't enough ballets

they made them on copy machines instead of making official ones. Besides the weight of paper and printing method shouldn't matter if they are not being read on electrical scanners anyway. They'll have to count by hand, so just make copies, what's the difference?

I wonder if there will be a shift in red to blue (or vice versa) if they end up voting by paper instead of machine. This should be interesting.

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Response to EC (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:25 PM

13. You need power to run a copy machine

and probably to print up ballots in other ways. How could this be done in time when the length and place of power outage is unknown until Election Day? Ballots could be printed and trucked in ahead of time. But you'd have to risk wasting that money in order to get the ballots there in time. Plus there would be no electricity in the polling stations making it at the least very difficult to read the ballots etc. once the sun goes down.

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Response to sunnystarr (Reply #13)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:45 PM

17. Generators.

It takes very little power to run a copier. A single 3500 watt gas generator (which 1 person can handle with a hand cart) could probably run 4 or 5 of them non stop without any stress.

Ditto with the lights. A strand of temporary contractor lights can be run off of a small portable generator and put in place within an hour. I was often hanging these strands up for new construction.

The materials are readily available, even during this storm.

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:12 PM

4. If any state relies solely on e-voting

and doesn't have a paper backup process in place, heads should roll. Even children know that sometimes the power goes out. There is no substitute for a piece of paper.

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Response to reflection (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:24 PM

12. You would be surprised....

My Spousal Unit works for a county Govt. They changed their building and inspections processes over to 100% electronic.

The new people who came in under the electronic system have never done any of the process or paperwork w/o computers. When the system went down for 2 weeks due to a bug in the system all of the newer people and quite a few of the oldsters were at a complete loss. There were no paper versions of the forms they needed to fill out on file. nothing. It was a train wreck.

IMHO there needs to always be a physical copy of any paper work needed and a SOP in a binder somewhere in the event that a power outage might last for longer than a week.

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:43 PM

36. SOP in a binder???? What ?? lol uhhh what is an SOP?? tks.

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Response to onecent (Reply #36)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:53 PM

38. SOP usually is "Standard Operating Procedure"

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Response to onecent (Reply #36)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 07:52 PM

47. Standard Operating Procedures. Most organizations have one.

Hopefully

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:12 PM

5. It's obvious. God wants paper ballots.

I do too. It's not that hard and it wouldn't take that long to print enough paper ballots.

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:14 PM

7. And you have to wonder how many power companies...

 

will keep the power off for a few extra days just to keep people from voting.

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Response to jenw2 (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:48 PM

18. That's not likely to happen.

PEPCO was taken to task for the extreme power outage during the June derecho that hit VA and MD. They were even called before Congress and their rate increase was denied because of their response.

The power companies will be (and already are) going out of their way to get a good mark on their long history of poor responses. They want that rate increase.

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Response to obxhead (Reply #18)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 02:15 PM

52. And now they're going to make the people pay for not giving in

 

Puget Sound Energy did the same after the big ice storm on December 14, 2006. PSE refused to bring in outside repair crews claiming they couldn't afford to. All they were doing was providing poor service to try to justify a huge rate hike. I was without power at home for over two weeks and out of work for nearly a month. PSE even left the local conservative paper without power. The PI argued against giving PSE more money for nothing in return so PSE shut them down for the first time in 75 (if I remember correctly) years of continuous publishing. Of course the conservatives have punished PSE for doing so, but as usual the poor public gets in the middle and suffers the most.

How much are the people in the NYC area going to suffer because of politics like this?

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Response to jenw2 (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:17 PM

25. Zero companies will do that

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:17 PM

8. This is a National Emergency

Don't know if there is any precedent set for this, but would HOPE that any States that this could affect, would qualify for their election voting/results to be extended a few days.

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:20 PM

9. I can't access the article at work. Which states does

this involve?

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Response to avebury (Reply #9)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:01 PM

19. Maybe about eight

The states now in immediate harm's way where most voters are forced to vote on electronic touch-screen systems on Election Day across much of the state include:

North Carolina
Virginia
West Virginia
Maryland
Pennsylvania
New Jersey

A number of counties in Ohio, as well as most of Tennessee --- though neither state is quite as directly in the path of the worst of the storm --- also require voters to vote electronically on Election Day.

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Response to siligut (Reply #19)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:19 PM

26. I live in NC and had a paper ballot

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #26)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:28 PM

28. The article stated it as "most" of the state

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Response to siligut (Reply #19)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:38 PM

34. Thanks for the info. nt

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:21 PM

10. So, they have a week to fix it

Print ballots in the states that have power and ship them to the East Coast. It will take a couple of extra weeks to get them all counted, but it's a solution.

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:23 PM

11. Scannable paper ballots

They can be manufactured and distributed to polling locations fairly quickly. Hopefully this is already on the radar screen in locations that are likely to experience long-term power outages.

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:27 PM

14. There is time

If the storm were happening next week I would be concerned. There is plenty of time to get power back and all the machines working.

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Response to Twelve String (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:34 PM

33. Well, when massive power outages, there's always OUTLYING areas that take a week or longer to restor

week or longer to restore. Power companies always deal with repairs that involve the most customers first, i.e. denser areas (blue areas generally), and take longer to deal with those in the boonies (redder areas generally) where you have many miles of lines serving only a few customers. So at least from that perspective, it might actually be good news. It will be interesting to see if it gets politicized -- which areas are being restored first.

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:30 PM

15. The unpleasant irony may be that the longer the power is off, the greater the chance for an

election delay, and MANY will notice (as well as their families around the US) the Other Candidate's smirky comments and awful reality about "privitization" of the disaster relief/FEMA.

And even if there is power on Election Day, who is going to rush down and try and vote...asuming there is a polling place still standing...under these circumstances. Then there is the situation of ID...how many birth certificates, passports, purses, wallets and other ID just washed out to sea. Hard to even print things out without an infrastructure.

Prayers for all.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 03:39 PM

16. I don't think the election can be delayed

so this is new territory. I can only hope power can be restored quickly.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:06 PM

21. The election cannot be and won't be delayed

And, it shouldn't be.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #21)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:11 PM

23. Seriously?

Whole swaths of solidly Democratic areas are being devastated. The margins of victory are already slim. It will be the minorities and poor that get hurt worst of all from this storm, people will be more worried about dealing with their personal affairs than getting out to vote next tuesday. This is a terrible situation and could cause a state like PA to flip.

There should be at least some federal assitance to help those that will be disenfranchised because of the storm.

Don't you agree? or should we do nothing?

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #23)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:26 PM

27. The election is November 6

It won't be delayed, and it shouldn't be. If the entire Mid Atlantic and NE was buried under six feet of snow, same thing. What if there was an earthquake in CA? You can't delay the election. It is against the law, for very obvious reasons.

If one is pragmatic and not compassionate about this natural disaster, it is obvious that difficulty in voting will help the Dems, not the GOP. No swing states are going to be affected (ie NC and VA), the blue states will still be blue, and probably even MORE blue if power or flooding messes up voting, because even in blue states, rural areas are quite red.

I also honestly don't think this will be the problem some think it will be. The Feds and governors are going to make sure people can vote, even Christie stated that, and he knows how NJ will be going.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #21)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:29 PM

29. Wasn't an election delayed in 2001?

IIRC, the New York State primary election was scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001. Wasn't that cancelled and rescheduled for a later date?

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #29)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 05:25 PM

43. Primaries and the actual official elections are different critters.

Delaying, say, the DNC - or canceling it altogether, for a wackier hypothetical - is one thing, but the actual general election can't simply be shuffled around.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #29)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:58 AM

50. True, but

The New York Primary wasn't mandated by the U.S, Constitution.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #21)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:30 PM

31. That may be, I didn't know it couldn't be, but just guessing that

there are going to be some mighty powerful political/social/legal challenges...add to it the presence of the international UN poll watchers, and who knows. Another guess, but imagine if the state of California was rocked by a massive earthquake in populated areas on or near election day. We're in new territory. I don't see how any entity can declare a winner...which is required.

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:07 PM

22. I have people in Philly

and I have been told that the power is going to be down for days, the people are not going to be too enthused to go vote as they are in recovery mode from this disaster. This may hurt Obama since the city is solidly blue territory, maybe if the western part of PA gets heavy snow it will counteract the power outages in the city. Obama is only up by 7 or 8 in PA a problem like this could make the state appear to flip.

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #22)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:57 PM

39. OH please

So they'll risk Rmoney winning- they will be in a state of needing federal aid. I'm sure they will appreciate it enough to go and vote.

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Response to treestar (Reply #39)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 06:15 PM

45. WHAT?

Seriously, you don't understand what people are going through when disaster strikes? Not everyone is so committed to voting as you are, a lot of people are registered Democrats but if their house is flooded or they have not electricity or running water they aren't going to say, oh thats right today's the day I gotta drop all of my important life things here and makes sure somehow I get to my polling station (if it has power and they haven't moved me somewhere else).

I don't think you are appreciating the big picture.

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #45)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 08:30 PM

48. Yes they will, as they know the importance of voting

Against R$ who would make it even worse for them - they'd have a direct example of how it could be worse.

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:30 PM

30. Gee... I wonder if the Democratic districts will be late to have their power restored...

You think?

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Response to Tab (Reply #30)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:32 PM

32. Won't it be easier to restore power to the more densely populated areas?

The sparsely populated rural areas will probably be the hardest to restore, they're also the most red

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:40 PM

35. Excellent blog

 

crucial information. Get. Rid. Of. Electronic. Voting.

Would anybody put money in a bank without getting a receipt?
Would anybody purchase a car or home without documentation?
Would anybody buy insurance without a written guarantee?


Then why the fuck in America do we vote on electronic machines owned by Republicans without any kind of verification or proof of vote?

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:45 PM

37. I read somewhere here that there are states that just have e-voting

Also, New York state, per a previous poster here, twice changed its primary because the date fell on Sept 11. I'm sure we'll know more in a day or so about the actual damage and fallout...political, social infrastructure, etc.

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 04:58 PM

40. Maybe the "reporters" should dig into the question

Rather than just speculate.

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 06:21 PM

46. Nothing like 'progress.'

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Response to BradBlog (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 10:47 AM

51. Thanks for the PSA.

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