It’s still not clear how much havoc this storm might wreak, but it has the potential to disrupt the lives of millions of people and to spawn a political impact, as we see HERE:
As Hurricane Sandy heads toward land on the East Coast, the storm and its aftermath could lend an interesting twist to the upcoming general election–call it the “October surprise”–as some power outages could last into Election Day.
Hurricane Sandy’s track is projected to directly affect two swing states in the election—Pennsylvania and Virginia—with Ohio also in the storm’s path inward.
The storm will arrive about a week before Election Day, and widespread, long-term power outages are a possibility, based on recent trends and the severity of the storm.
With President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on center stage next week, the storm’s aftermath could affect voting logistics, travel, and even the volume of campaign TV advertising.
On Thursday, the Christian Science Monitor reported there were already concerns about the electronic voting systems in Virginia and Pennsylvania before Hurricane Sandy became an issue.
“In four key battleground states–Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and Colorado–glitches in e-voting machines could produce incorrect or incomplete tallies that would be difficult to detect and all but impossible to correct because the machines have no paper record for officials to go back and check,” the Monitor said in its exclusive report.
The newspaper said in Pennsylvania, 50 of 68 counties use paperless voting systems, while in Virginia, 127 of 135 counties use paperless systems. And those electronic systems need electricity to operate.
In addition to potential voting machine problems, the fallout from storm damage and prolonged power outages could keep some people from the polls.