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Elections officials plan for storms like Hurricane Sandy, remember Tropical Storm Fay

8:08 AM, Oct 30, 2012   |    comments
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ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- As Hurricane Sandy continues to hit the Northeast, Vicky Oakes watches the storm closely.

As the St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections, Oakes has a plan in place should a storm hit the area during election season.  Called a "Continuity of Operations Plan," the guide was crafted with the help of Emergency Operations officials.  

"I feel for the elections officials in the area and you know, I'm hoping that the damage will be minimal," Oakes shared.

Several areas impacted by Sandy have cancelled early voting because of dangerous conditions.  

Oakes said St. Johns County had to change early voting because of a storm just four years ago.  Elections officials cancelled early voting for the primary on August 21 and 22, 2008 during Tropical Storm Fay.  

"When the situation gets bad, voting is not foremost in everyone's mind," said Oakes.  "So, they didn't mind.  Voters didn't mind that we suspended it for a couple of days."

According to Oakes, conditions improved enough by Saturday to hold one last day of early voting ahead of Tuesday's primary, which was also held as scheduled.

Oakes explained that while county officials can make changes to early voting schedules, in Florida only the Governor can decide to reschedule Election Day.  

First Coast News

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