Here And Now
Well, we made it through another election cycle. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.
Now it’s time for the only poll that matters: The one in which voters actually go to the polls and cast their ballots for real.
(The polls have been open in NY for well over an hour already).
Of course, more than 29.8 million ballots have already been cast via early and absentee voting.
The early vote is expected to account for about 35 percent of the total votes cast in this election – an increase from 2008, when 30 percent of the total vote was cast before Election Day.
Election experts say it’s possible that early voting will end up being a larger share of the overall vote if turnout is down in the states (like New York) that were impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
In all but one key battleground state – Colorado – registered Democrats have cast more early votes than Republicans.
But overall, Republicans made bigger gains in early voting between 2008 and this year’s election.
In the race for the White House, it’s likely to all come down to Ohio, which President Obama has visited more than 20 times this year alone.
As for Mitt Romney, no Republican candidate has won the presidency without winning the Buckeye State.
Ohio residents have been bombarded by political ads – more than 205,000 during the general election campaign alone.
New York has seen its share of ads, too, especially since it has more competitive House races than usual, thanks to a court-ordered (read: less-gerrymandered-than-usual) redistricting plan.
But since the 2012 campaign is almost over, the ads will end, and voters can take a bit of a breather from politics.
Unless, of course, you’re one of those people who believes the 2016 contest starts where this one ends. (Some might say it’s already well underway).
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is often mentioned as a potential presidential contender four years from now.
Today, he’ll be casting his ballot (presumably for Obama) at the Mt. Kisco Presbyterian Church, 605 Millwood Rd., at 8 a.m.
As a result of Sandy, Cuomo never did hit the trail on the president’s behalf, as he planned to do in the final weeks of the campaign. He called off a trip to Florida the Saturday before the storm made landfall.
The storm is expected to have a significant impact on today’s elections, but no one has been able to predict exactly what that might be.
Will Sandy create upsets on Long Island and in New York City that could effect the balance of power in the state Senate, or perhaps even (although this is a longshot) the House?
Some 143,000 people are said to be unable to vote at their usual polling place as a result of the storm – and remember, this is a redistricting year, so a number of voters were in new districts to begin with.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Nassau County resident, is sticking with his prediction that his GOP conference will win 35 seats today. Sen. Mike Gianaris, who heads up the Senate Democrats’ political and campaign arm, disagrees.
Cuomo yesterday signed an executive order than enables voters displaced by the storm – if they’re still interested in voting at all – to show up at any polling place in the state and vote via affidavit ballot.
BUT – and it’s a very big but – unless you are in your home district, you will NOT be able to vote for candidates in local races.
Only your statewide votes in the presidential and US Senate races will count – races in which the outcome is already all but certain with Obama and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand enjoying big double-digit leads in the polls.
Not everyone is a plan of this affidavit plan. Citizens Union Executive Director Dick Dadey predicted it will increase the drop-off rate in down-ballot races.
Even with Cuomo’s order, Election Day is likely to be chaotic and confusing in the storm ravaged areas downstate.
The DN reports the NYC Board of Elections was still tinkering with the list of relocated polling places even late last night.
As of last night, more than 100 polling places in New York had been changed, including about 60 in the city. Most were in Brooklyn and Queens.
And the board has no plan for informing voters where they need to be today if their polling sites have changed. Officials planned to take out newspaper ads and post signs at closed sites.
There will also be shuttle buses for some elderly voters and public housing residents.
Even in the best (non-storm impacted) of times, the NYC board doesn’t have a great track record for running error-free elections. It’s possible that more lawsuits than usual will be filed as a result of whatever craziness occurs today.
Upstate, two Democratic congressional candidates – Rep. Bill Owens in NY-21 and Dan Maffei in NY-24 – have already sought to have the ballots cast in their respective races impounded – a fairly standard procedure in races expected to be very close.
Between that and the affidavit ballot situation downstate and the extended period for absentee ballots (from seven days after the election to 13) as a result of Sandy, it could be some time before we know the final outcome of races all across New York.
It might be a long day and night, folks.
At least we’ve got clear, albeit cold, weather (for now).
Some additional headlines…
Cuomo warned the nor’easter forecast to hit New York beginning tmorrow is a serious problem because so many victims of Sandy remain without power and debris still clogs the streets.
The National Weather Service is predicting that the storm could produce sustained winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour and gusts of up to 60 m.p.h. in the New York region by Wednesday afternoon.
In the race for retiring GOP Sen. Owen Johnson’s seat, Democrat Rick Montano has a chance to be the highest-ranking non-white politician ever elected from the region. But he has avoiding injecting race into his race against Republican Assemblyman Phil Boyle.
The NY-27 race between Rep. Kathy Hochul and former Erie County Executive Chris Collins could go into overtime.
In NY-24, the race between Maffei, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle and Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum could come down to at least 21,500 absentee ballots that have requested to date. It could take weeks to open them all.
Cuomo sharply reminded the state’s utility companies he feels are moving too slowly in restoring power after Sandy that they don’t have “God-given monopolies.”
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is particularly upset with NYSEG’s post-Sandy performance.
The annual post-election Somos el Futuro junket to Puerto Rico was cancelled as a result of Sandy.
Joe Nocera says the impromptu marathon that took place in Central Park Sunday was “cathartic in a way that the real marathon could never have been,” and Bloomberg should have been able to own it, but couldn’t because of his “blind spot.”
Former President Bill Clinton isn’t the only New Yorker whose help the Obama campaign is seeking in the key swing state of Pennsylvania.
Former Gov. George Pataki campaigned with Republican NY-21 hopeful Matt Doheny, while retiring GOP Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward stumped with Doheny’s Democratic opponent, Rep. Owens.
The state Board of Regents is refining a plan to help financially struggling schools that would entail district consolidation, shared services and the creation of regional schools.
Sandy could be very expensive for the Albany International Airport.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on November 6, 2012 at 7:29 am, and is filed under Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|