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NJ voters displaced by Sandy will get chance to vote by email

Officials predict voter turnout will take a hit in the Northeast as residents deal with the lingering problems from Sandy. William Biamonte, an elections commissioner for Nassau County, New York joins a special edition of NewsNation to discuss.

New Jersey election officials said Saturday that registered voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy will be able to vote by email -- an electronic process used by state residents who are overseas and service members, but a first for voters living in the state, NBCNewYork.com reported.

The directive is intended to help first responders kept away from home and their local polling places as well as those displaced by the storm.

More post-storm coverage at NBCNewYork.com

Election officials said they will also accept paper ballots through Monday, Nov. 19, as long as they're postmarked by Nov. 6, NBCNewYork.com reported.


"To help alleviate pressure on polling places, we encourage voters to either use electronic voting or the extended hours at county offices to cast their vote,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that his administration is making sure residents can vote, even if their polling stations are without power or no longer exist. The state also will allow residents to drop by their county clerk's office to vote. A specially created text number will allow a voter to see if his or her polling place is still open.

NBCNewYork.com described the email voting system:

Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin told NBC 4 New York the program is being run on an honor system, relying on voters to only use the system if they truly can't get to his or her polling place.

The procedure, according to Durkin, will be to call or email the county clerk to get a ballot application emailed to you.

Once filled out, you email it back, then get the ballot itself emailed to you.

Durkin said you fill the ballot out and email it back, where it will be printed, held several days and cross checked to make sure you didn't vote some other way.

Since officials couldn't figure out a way to confirm a voters name and print the completed ballot witout an election worker looking the voters' choices while handling the ballots, voters will have to check off a waiver of privacy. 

It's going to be a long road ahead for millions of families in New York and New Jersey. Morning Joe takes a look back at the week that was Hurricance Sandy.