- May 22, 2012
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Experts: Team Obama Should Root for Hurricane Sandy to Interrupt Election
Experts: Team Obama Should Root for Hurricane Sandy to Interrupt Election | Flopping Aces
Its come to this:
Its been called snowicane and worse than the perfect storm, and it could knock out power in the mid-Atlantic through Election Day.
Hurricane Sandy hasnt even made it past the Bahamas yet, but Sandy, or any natural disaster around Election Day, could wreak extreme havoc on the election, experts say.
Political scientists have long studied the effects of rain and inclement weather on voter turnout and, not surprisingly, have found many people would rather stay at home than brave the weather. But more extreme storms or natural disasters that affect an entire state or region could turn a mild inconvenience into a huge mess.
Thats because there are few federal election procedure laws, Robert Pastor, co-director of the Center for Democracy and Election Management says. Election process is generally left up to state or local governments, who Pastor says are least capable of handling a statewide or regional disaster.
Most states have contingency plans in case a state of emergency is declared on Election Day. In Virginia, which could be hit hard by Sandy, Governor Bob McDonnell can postpone the election for up to 14 days, leading to all sorts of logistical issues.
If, for instance, the election came down to a late-voting Virginia thered probably be an outlandish intervention of Super PAC money as well as regular campaign spending, says John Hudak, a governance studies fellow at Brookings. It would be quite the carnival . . . youd have a very serious constitutional situation occurring.
Itd also represent a field day for lawyers. Congress has the power to formally protest Electoral College votes from states they feel are tainted, as long as one member from each house agrees to bring it to a vote. If a majority of both houses vote to reject the votes from a certain state, they are thrown out.
If you have a situation where [a] state has delayed its voting and that one had an impact on the outcome, wed see a movement to reconsider those votes, he says. For the sake of sanity, lets hope it doesnt happen.
Experts: Team Obama Should Root for Hurricane Sandy to Interrupt Election - US News and World Report