Governor Cuomo passed an emergency order in New York on Monday to allow those affected by Hurricane Sandy to vote at any polling station in the state.
The "extraordinary step" allows those voters who can't make it to their designated polls to cast affidavit paper ballots at any site in the country. However, the displaced voters won't be able to use the electronic ballot machines, nor will they be able to cast votes for their local races since those candidates won't appear on ballots at other stations, DNAinfo New York reported.
Their affidavit votes for US president and state senate also won't be counted until after election day is over.
“We're trying to do the best we can. We want everyone to vote," Cuomo told reporters at a press conference Monday evening. "Just because people are displaced doesn't mean they should be disenfranchised," NBC News reported.
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Cuomo had been pressured by voting rights groups to follow New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration and pass this measure, Politico reported.
As many as 143,000 people in New York City were unable to cast their ballots at their designated polling sites, according to officials, and thousands of Long Islanders' votes are also affected by the storm damage, the Wall Street Journal reported.
"The governor has acted judiciously in the best interests of the voters," Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, told the Albany Times Union. "In their darkest hour, New Yorkers can trust that over 200 years of democracy will not be undone by a single weather event, no matter how disastrous."