Staten Island Voters Angry About Lack of Communication With New Polling Stations After Hurricane Sandy

Category: Politics / Nov 06, 2012 12:58PM EDT
Thousands of voters on New York's Staten Island went to the ballots at polling stations which were newly set up after Hurricane Sandy, on Tuesday (November 6), for the U.S. presidential election. Last week's storm, which devastated the east coast of the U.S., left several polling stations damaged and unusable. Officials moved one of the polling stations to the College of Staten Island sports hall from another nearby school which suffered storm damage. Voters had mixed opinions on how well the change of location had been communicated by election authorities. "There is no sign which shows that this is the polling station, so I had to stop, ask people, to get here. Even when you get here, it's not pointing that the polling station is here so for me, a Staten islander who's been here, going regularly to one polling station and voting, it's totally confusing for people to find where the polling station is, so people may not come to vote," said local Raj Saverimuttu. "Very inconvenient and very confusing," resident Robert told Reuters TV. While others felt they had been well notified by the authorities. "I thought it was quite good. We had notification in our local newspaper that our polling site would be changed, and we also got one of those robo calls from our local representative reminding us that the polling site had changed and I think it was quite well organized," said Janice Rueckert. In what looked set to be a close race to the top job between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, voters on Staten Island seemed divided in who they supported "Barack Obama. I love America, I must vote for Barack Obama," Ernest Dereck said after casting his ballot. "We definitely need to make a change and I really feel that Mitt Romney will help us and I just thought that the country needs a change very badly," said Jean Forte. While President Barack Obama was expected to win easily in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the states most affected by Sandy, the storm could expose gaps in the arcane Electoral College system that decides the presidency. One possibility is that low voter turnout in storm-ravaged states could allow Republican challenger Mitt Romney to win the popular vote even if Obama wins the state-by-state Electoral College race. Romney and Obama are virtually tied in pre-election polls.