How Hurricane Sandy Could Affect Election Day In Oklahoma

Monday, October 29th 2012, 12:37 pm
By: News 9

Hurricane Sandy could knock out power to several states across the Northeast for days or weeks, and that could have an immense impact on the Presidential Election.

President Obama and Mitt Romney have both had to change travel plans because of the storm and there's growing concern the storm could knock out power in several key states through Election Day. If that happens, some states and local governments can declare election emergencies. For example, in Virginia, the Governor can postpone the Election Day for 2 weeks but as you can imagine that can lead to all sorts of logistical issues for the rest of the nation.

In Oklahoma, natural disasters would not change Election Day.

"There's no statute in Oklahoma that allows for the delay or movement of Election Day," said Secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board Paul Ziriax. "So, no matter what – fire, tornado or flood – Election Day will be on Election Day in Oklahoma," said Ziriax.

However, if an election emergency is declared in the Sooner State, the Election Board can make some modifications like changing the location of where votes are cast.

The other thing Oklahoma is prepared for is power outages. New voting machines in Oklahoma have a 2 hour battery backup and there's a plan ready to go that would allow voters to continue voting even if the power outage lasts longer than 2 hours.

10/29/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Absentee Voting Deadline Wednesday