Expecting the Unexpected: Election Planning for Emergencies
October 31, 2013 | Download
In 2012, Superstorm Sandy made landfall a week before Election Day. Flooding, power outages, and gasoline shortages threatened to prevent voters from getting to the polls. Despite efforts of states to continue the elections, numerous problems persisted, including provisional ballot shortages and crashing e-mail servers and fax machines. These setbacks underscore the need for state and local jurisdictions to adopt emergency procedures to ensure the orderly administration of elections in the event of an emergency. This report offers recommendations to the jurisdictions seeking to adopt contingency plans that make it easier to cast ballots in an emergency, educate voters, create a relocation and resupply plan, and preserve the right to vote for first responders during emergencies, among others.