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Queens Chronicle

Rockaway poll site loses power, radio report says

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Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 9:28 am | Updated: 6:51 pm, Tue Nov 6, 2012.

Voters are already facing trouble casting ballots in the storm-ravaged Rockaways, according to a radio broadcast this morning.

The report, which could not immediately be confirmed, said that generators powering voting machines had run out of fuel, leaving the voting site dark.

The story was broadcast on Curtis Sliwa's morning show on 970 AM radio. One of Sliwa's contributors out in the field called it in.

It was not clear exactly where the polling station was. Sliwa was saying it was in Riis Park, but a Board of Elections list of post-Hurricane changes to polling places in the Rockaways does not include one there. Sliwa said the generators were supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The potential disenfranchisement of voters due to hurricane damage has been a concern voiced frequently by elected officials since the storm. The concern is that a BOE that couldn't even properly notify all voters of poll site changes following this year's redistricting is not well prepared to handle the crisis brought on by Sandy.

The board had previously released a list of alternate polling places for voters in the Rockaways, Howard Beach and Jamaica, as well as other parts of the city damaged by the storm; and Gov. Cuomo yesterday issued an executive order saying voters in New York City and surrounding counties impacted by the storm can cast ballots anywhere in the state [see separate stories here on qchron.com].

Voters in the Rockaways, and elsewhere in southern, southwestern and central Queens, are casting ballots in what is expected to be one of the tightest races in the city this year, the state Senate contest between incumbent Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park).

The BOE could not immediately be reached for comment.

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