60 Poll Sites Moved in Wake of Hurricane Sandy

By Jill Colvin on November 4, 2012 12:11pm | Updated on November 4, 2012 4:27pm

NEW YORK CITY — The Board of Elections will be combining and relocating dozens of polling sites across storm-ravaged neighborhoods of the city, officials announced Sunday.

Sixty polling sites concentrated in low-lying areas of Brooklyn and the Rockaways in Queens have been moved out of buildings damaged by the storm, officials announced just two days before the polls open Tuesday.

The move will impact approximately 143,000 voters across city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Across the Rockaways, most voters are being shifted over to several super-polling sites, including P.S. 180 at 320 Beach 104th St., P.S. 104 at 26-01 Mott Ave. and Far Rockaway High School at 821 Bay 25th St.

In Coney Island and Brighton Beach, many poll sites have been consolidated to P.S. 370 at 3000 West 1st St. and Abraham Lincoln High School at 2800 Ocean Parkway.

"Our thoughts are with the residents of the City of New York affected by Hurricane Sandy," the commissioners wrote in a statement, which urges all voters to visit the poll site locator on their website or use the board's smartphone applications to verify their poll sites before Election Day.

For a full list of the changes, click here, or find your poll site by address here.

Voters without Internet or spotty cell phone service can also text “NYCVOTES” to 877-877, using a newly-launched system courtesy of NYC Votes! and Mobile Commons.

All of the city's new electronic voting machines were safety secured during the storm, said City Board of Elections Commissioner J.C. Polanco. But officials face a litany of challenges, including a rush on generators and fuel shortages that have made it difficult to transport equipment to the poll sites — a process that usually begins a week before Election Day. The board's central phone line is also down, hampering communications.

Officials still haven't released details on how they plan to transport poll workers and tens of thousands of residents in disaster zones — many of whom remain without power and transportation, their cars destroyed — to the poll sites on Election Day.

And the board has yet to explain what will happen to the thousands of people who have been displaced from their homes and are now living in emergency shelters.

"They have real problems," Bloomberg said during a press briefing at the Governor's Office in Midtown Sunday of the board, adding later in the day that he had no idea whether the board was prepared.

"We've got to make sure everyone can vote. It's not going to be easy," he said.

Election officials agreed but said they're doing the best they can.

“Elections are hard enough to put on as is. It's going to make thing a lot more difficult," Polanco said Saturday.

“We’re trying to do everything possible to make it easier for voters to vote in places that are close to the ones that may have been destroyed because of Hurricane Sandy," he said.

The deadline for absentee ballots to be received and counted has been extended from seven days to 13 days after Election Day — but ballots still must be postmarked no later than Monday, Nov. 5th.

Voters who want to make last-minute applications can do so at one one five borough offices:

Richmond County (Staten Island) Emergency Absentee Ballot Pickup:
1 Edgewater Plaza, 4th Floor, Staten Island. Phone number: (718) 876‐0079.
Office Hours: Sunday 9:00 a.m.‐6:00 p.m, Monday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Manhattan Emergency Absentee Ballot Pickup:
450 West 33rd St., 10th Floor. Phone number: (212) 465‐0503.
Office Hours: Sunday 9:00 a.m. ‐ 8:00 p.m., Monday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Bronx County Emergency Absentee Ballot Pickup:
1780 Grand Concourse, 5th Floor, Concourse Level. Phone number: (718) 299‐9017.
Office Hours: Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Monday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Queens County Emergency Absentee Ballot Pickup:
126‐06 Queens Boulevard, 4th Floor, Kew Gardens. Phone number: (718) 730‐6730.
Office Hours: Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Monday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Kings County (Brooklyn) Emergency Absentee Ballot Pickup:
345 Adams Street, 4th Floor. Phone number: (718) 797‐8800.
Office Hours: Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Monday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

A Board of Elections spokeswoman did not immediately return multiple calls for comment.

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