Did the Hurricane Affect the Election?

Photo by Amy Fernandez

Did the Hurricane Affect the Election?

Tears gathered in the eyes of Republicans and cries of joy came from the Democrats with the announcement of the winner of the 2012 presidential election on Wednesday November 9th. President Barack Obama won the race with 332 electoral votes. With the election over, the country begins to return to its natural state. But several questions have been raised as to whether hurricane Sandy affected the election.

The hurricane made landfall on Monday October 29th at 8 p.m. in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The storm killed 79 people and caused roughly 55 billion dollars in damage. The shore was devastated and many homes were left in ruins caused by the high winds. People were left with nothing and nowhere to go. Many even commented that the election was the last thing on their mind, including Governor Chris Christie who said his first priority was not getting people to the polls, but back in their homes.

The storm, however, did not just affect New Jersey, but also New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and parts of Delaware. Many places throughout these states were left in ruins, whole towns swept off the map. The amount of people able to actually go out and vote was significantly less than usual for a presidential election. As a result, every single North Eastern state was given to President Obama including his governing state Massachusetts, the swing state of Ohio, and the rumored switch state of Pennsylvania. These three states combined are equal to 39 electoral votes, a huge prize for any candidate.

There were also arrangements made to help those affected by the hurricane still be able to vote. The national election bureau, in agreement with President Obama’s request, opened up the voting to allow voters to text, call, fax, or email their votes. This, however, left the polls open to voter fraud where anyone could hack the system to cast votes for one candidate or the other. After the election the Republicans said this was not fair, pointing out that not everyone was apprised of the new voting possibilities. Many voters were still concerned about where they were going to stay or get a hot meal instead of who was going to run the country.

Hurricane Sandy had a large effect on the voting in this election, crippling the North East and taking away many of the votes for both of the candidates. People were unable to get to the polls in order to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice. Also, the new voting system was questioned as being too easy to cause fraud within the system. For now, it can be said that the hurricane prevented people from voting and affected the election.

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