1:48 pm Oct. 30, 2012
It's difficult and almost unseemly to think about it now, with Breezy Point in ruins and Coney Island "devastated," but in exactly one week, it's Election Day in New York, and it's not clear how that's going to work.
There's the politics of the storm, which are probably worse for Romney on balance, but which pose a challenge to Obama in the blue and blue-leaning states hit hardest by the hurricane.
Obama's campaign manager is already making the hard pitch to New Yorkers, saying in an email I received, "Soon enough we'll need to get back to work on the most important campaign of our lifetime."
But what of the mechanics of the election itself?
To the extent that residents aren't displaced or completely preoccupied with putting their lives back in order, how will the New York City Board of Elections handle the logistics of voting if people can't get around and some polling places aren't easily accessible?
I emailed a spokeswoman for the board, who responded with a statement from J.C. Polanco, a Republican commissioner from the Bronx who has emerged as one of the board's more vocal and articulate defenders.
His answer was, basically: we'll try.
"Deputy Executive Director, Dawn Sandow and Administrative Manager Pam Perkins are leading the effort to design and implement our contingency plan. The Board is working with the State Board, Governor's office, Department of Education, NYCHA and our many private sites to coordinate efforts to deliver our 15,000 items in supplies to the 1300 plus poll sites. Fortunately as of Sunday, Commissioners Sipp and Guastella secured the Staten Island voting machines and transported supplies to the SI Armory. The SI BOE sits on the water and they worked non stop through the hurricane.
"My other colleagues have their staffs analyzing which poll sites have the electricity and viability to serve the public on election day. And when will we be able to safely deliver the scanners to the pollsite. We are asking New Yorkers to be engaged, patient and alert for any developments regarding post hurricane municipal considerations."