YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Everyone in New Jersey will be given the easiest opportunity to vote in next week’s election despite the unprecedented damage of Hurricane Sandy, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said this afternoon. Several measures are being taken to guarantee a fair, open, and transparent election, she said.
State authorities sent word to county election officials throughout New Jersey this morning, but Guadagno made sure everyone got the message during a conference call with local, county, state and federal officials that Gov. Christie estimated in the thousands ( SEE: Obama praises NJ, pledges support during Christie conference call with local officials ).
1. If you have power, there will be no change in the presidential or local elections. Mail-in ballot times will be extended. County clerks will be open all weekend.
2. Those without power must report to state Board of Elections by noon tomorrow. She said the state will make arrangements for polling places as close to existing sites as possible, with security: “If we don’t hear from you, we’re going to send you a truck.”
3. Those citizens in shelters will get mail-in ballots, a “one-stop shop,” said Guadagno, who, as secretary of state, is in charge of elections.
A new system will provide all New Jersey residents with the locations of polling places “in real time,” the lieutenant governor added.
You will be able to simply text in your address and the state will identify your polling place “as of that minute,” she said. CLIFFVIEW PILOT was trying to obtain that number.
The National Guard will be there to assist, with instructions and security — and the use of trucks as substitute polling places, she said.
Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan said news will be available after noon tomorrow for arrangements being made for voting in the county and throughout the state. Some towns may combine polling places, Donovan said.
Six judges instead of the usual two will be sitting on Tuesday, she added. The Bergen County Courthouse is expected to be open.
“If not,” Donovan said, “we’ll find an alternative site.”
County Elections Supervisor John Hogan said his office will conduct regular business hours 9 to 4 tomorrow and Monday, and from 9 to 3 on Saturday and Sunday.
The warehouse where the machines were stored lost power, so they’re being reset, he said.
ABOVE: CLIFFVIEW PILOT PHOTO
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