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Berks prepares for Sandy's possible impact on Election Day

Berks prepares for Sandy's possible impact on election day

READING, Pa. - Election Day will be here before we know it.

The Berks County elections office held a meeting Friday to discuss Hurricane Sandy's potential impact on voters heading to the polls on Nov. 6.

County Commissioner Christian Leinbach said the county is prepared for minor issues to move some polling locations, if need be.

"If we have to move 40 polling places for Tuesday's Nov. 6 election, we're not prepared to deal with that," said Leinbach.

This time last year, a snow storm impacted our region. Many people in Berks County were without power for more than a week.  

Hurricane Sandy is expected to make her mark as early as Monday. As of now, Sandy's impact could potentially be severe.

Leinbach said the county's election officials are taking action by brainstorming ways people could head to the polls if there are still power outages and road closures at some of the county's 198 polling locations come Election Day.

"We have processes in place where we can provide backup power, where we can move a polling place at the last minute," said Leinbach.

Berks County's election board could petition to the county's president judge to extend voting hours so more people can safely head to the polls, Leinbach said, if need be.

"If it's that serious, it will not just be a Berks County event. In that case, we wait for direction from the governor's office," said Leinbach.

According to the Department of State, Election Day cannot be changed because it is a federal date mandated by the U.S. Constitution. If conditions are serious throughout the state, Gov. Corbett would be in talks with federal authorities to figure out what has to be done.

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