Updated 10/29/2012 08:06 PM
Sandy causes election headaches as some early voting sites close
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RALEIGH—As Hurricane Sandy blew up the coast of North Carolina this weekend, it also slammed closed the doors of multiple early voting locations.
In fact, one site remained closed on Monday. This likely will not be the end of Hurricane Sandy's election havoc.
“The snow has already begun to fall on Monday morning and is going to continue to fall in the mountains perhaps even through Wednesday morning,” said News 14 Carolina meteorologist Lee Ringer.
Snow and wind could create a wintry mix of trouble for voting sites. Political analysts say the affects of this are tough to predict.
“I think because there is a lot of opportunity to vote, not just one day in North Carolina. I think enthusiastic voters will find a way to vote,” said Kenneth Fernandez with Elon University.
Elon University released a poll Monday showing a dead heat in North Carolina when it comes to the presidential race. The random sample of over 1,200 likely voters showed an even 45/45 split of support for the candidates. Four years ago, it was a similar scenario with Obama winning by just about 13,000 votes.
Political analyst David McLennan said this means a few voting sites being closed for a few days could have big impact.
“I mean 13 thousand votes is really a handful of precincts anywhere in North Carolina. So you are talking about any particular area in North Carolina being impacted could swing the election one way or the other when it is razor thin to begin with,” said McLennan.
The questions become even more hazy when you expand the look Hurricane Sandy. Many states offer multiple days for voters to head to the polls through early voting, but many of the states that fall in Sandy's path do not. This means it will all depend on th4e conditions next Tuesday.
“With these extensive power outages in some of the most populated areas of the country, it could be out for days in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and northern states and the power could be out perhaps all the way up to Election Day,” said Ringer.
If early voting sites are forced to close because of weather, the State Board of Elections said they do have the option to try to make up the hours by staying open longer other days.