New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has instructed that voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy be allowed to cast absentee ballots by email and fax until 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Voters will be able to submit voting applications until 5 p.m.
Displaced voters will count as "overseas voters," and will follow the same practices currently in place for New Jersey voters serving overseas in the military.
A spokesman for Guadagno's office told Politico it's not a new system. The state is simply using a regulatory process to qualify voters displaced by Sandy under existing law. But it's the first time civilian voters in New Jersey have been allowed to vote electronically.
According to a directive released by Guadagno, such voters may:
1. Submit a mail-in ballot application to the county clerk of the county in which they live by email or fax by 5 p.m. on Election Day.
2. If the applicant is a qualified voter, the county clerk will email or fax a ballot and a waiver of secrecy form to the voter.
3. The voter may email or fax their completed ballot and the waiver of secrecy to their county board of election by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Any ballot that is mailed and postmarked November 5 or earlier will be counted so long as it is received by November 19.
New Jersey displaced voters will also be allowed to go to any polling place in the state to cast a provisional ballot. Gov. Chris Christie directed county clerks offices to open both Saturday and Sunday prior to Election Day to ensure that those impacted by Sandy had opportunities to cast ballots. He also asked the National Guard to assist with voting by paper ballot at polling places still without power. Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey especially hard and many neighborhoods are still in the dark 48 hours before Election Day.
New Jersey is considered a blue state, meaning President Barack Obama is likely to win the state.