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Voting was going smoothly Tuesday morning at the Canton Central Schools polling place. Photo: Julie Grant
Voting was going smoothly Tuesday morning at the Canton Central Schools polling place. Photo: Julie Grant

Election day complicated by Sandy in some parts of North Country

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People in places like Ohio and Michigan say they're waiting hours in line to vote. Polling places around the North Country report a busy election day.

Julie Grant spoke with voters outside the polling place at Canton Central Senior High School.

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Julie Grant
Reporter and Producer

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Karen Holland voted today, and says it went well, although it was "different with those little pens." She says she did have trouble checking her district on the web, since the board of elections site didn't work.
Holland says she voted for Obama, and almost voted a straight Democratic ticket: "It would have been the first time I have, but I did slip down to Republican for one, near the end, but basically I did this time, and I don't normally do that."

Bill Watson reluctantly says he voted Romney, says the experience was "very easy, very simple, no problems at all."

Lines were short and moved quickly at Canton schools polling place Tuesday morning. Photo: Julie Grant
Lines were short and moved quickly at Canton schools polling place Tuesday morning. Photo: Julie Grant
He says he didn't vote a straight Republican ticket, though—and although he feels good about the choices this time around, he wishes there were some others, "but what you gonna do?"

Charles and Maggie Alexander had a little trouble getting to the polling place, because, Maggie says, "we went to the wrong place." Maggie is reluctant to say who she voted for: "I don't even tell him who I voted for! It's a secret ballot as far as I'm concerned." The Alexanders have been married, he says, for 63 years.

They think that they're able to vote, just because there was a hurricane.
Things haven’t gone smoothly at all the North Country’s polling places, largely because of Hurricane Sandy. On Monday, Governor Cuomo signed an executive order allowing displaced voters to cast ballots at any polling site in the state, saying "we want everyone to vote, just because you're displaced doesn't mean you should be disenfranchised."

Bill Montfort is the Democratic elections commissioner in Warren County. He says some people don’t understand that the Governor’s order has limits.

“We’ve been getting some people coming from New Jersey…under the impression because they’re a displaced voter that they can walk into any Board of Elections and vote, and they don’t realize New York and New Jersey are two separate entities when it comes to voting. New Jersey has different laws than New York has.”

Cuomo’s order doesn’t apply to people outside of the five boroughs, Long Island, and the New York City suburbs. Montfort says many people who weren’t displaced by the storm, but who didn’t register to vote, think they’ve now got a free pass.

"They think that they’re able to vote, just because there was a hurricane. Now the hurricane didn’t affect people in Warren, Washington and Saratoga County, but they think because they're hearing anybody who's misplaced can come in and vote, they're all coming into the Board of Elections looking to vote."
 
Montfort says people legitimately displaced by Sandy can’t vote in local or state races, but they can cast ballots for President and the U.S. Senate.

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