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Wednesday, 24 April 2019 03:48 am

Hurricane Sandy likely to affect homeless vote in US election

Nov 1st, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

NEW YORK CITY’S homeless may have a problem getting to voting stations on November 6 because of  the Hurricane Sandy megastorm.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the Huffington Post he expected  the city’s homeless would have gone to ground in whatever shelter they could find, and would stay there rather than venturing forth to vote.

Bloomberg says the city did its best to get homeless people into shelters before the storm hit, but many chose to remain on the streets.

Advocates for the homeless drove a nationwide campaign to register these voters in the first week of October.

A requirement of the voting registration form is having a physical address, and this has been controversial.

Homeless people are allowed to draw a map or supply the address of the intersection, park or shelter where they sleep when registering to vote, but they are required to remain registered in the precinct of their last permanent address.

War veterans make up a large subgroup within the homeless community.

Despite many of them suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the Veterans Association encourages them to make their voices heard.

The association provides its members with a state-by-state breakdown of registration and voting policies and deadlines.

Because of the storm, the Connecticut deadline for registering in person has been extended to November 1, two days later than the original cut-off date.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said at the time: “Considering the emergency situation our state is facing, it is neither practical nor wise at this time for people to travel to their town halls so they can meet the deadline to hand in their voter registration applications in person, as the law requires.

“Safety is our top priority, and the best thing to do to ensure that nobody is disenfranchised because of the storm is to extend the deadline until after the hurricane has passed.”

Philadelphia has extended the absentee-ballot deadline because of disruption to the state’s postal system.

Previously-registered voters in Philadelphia, where offices were closed for two days because of the storm, had until 5pm Thursday (local time) to show up in person at county election offices, fill out an absentee ballot request, mark the ballot and vote on the spot.

Images: Sodahead, Homeless Veterans Assoc

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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