Editorial: Go vote, but be ready for some curveballs

This May 3, 2010 file photo shows a This May 3, 2010 file photo shows a "vote here" sign near a polling place open. Photo Credit: AP

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The endless campaign is over, and today we finally get to vote. But Sandy has made it much tougher. So we'll need determined voters and elections officials committed to counting your votes.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has shown admirable flexibility by issuing an executive order to make sure you can vote, even if you're staying with relatives in another county. That extraordinary order will allow you to cast affidavit, or provisional, ballots wherever you are, subject to later verification by your own election board. Your votes for president and U.S. Senate will count, and possibly others, depending on where you vote.

Elections officials have been trying to get normal electricity or generator power for polling places. Though the number of locations that have to change is shrinking -- more will have to change in Nassau than in Suffolk -- there may be problems.

So check the news pages and newsday.com for the latest lists of those moves. If you go to your regular polling place, and it has been changed, there will be signs there -- and where possible, election workers -- to direct you to the alternate spot. It won't be far away, so gasoline shouldn't be an issue. At the new location, your regular inspectors, sign-in lists and ballots should be there.

Despite everyone's efforts, it's possible you'll end up voting in a place without power. There, officials will likely have to save the limited battery life of the scanning machines to count votes at day's end, instead of letting voters feed ballots into the machines themselves. You won't lose privacy: You'll still get a folder to cover your ballot until you put it in a secure container.

What you will lose is protection against over-votes. The scanners are set to warn you if you cast too many votes for the same office. If you can't feed your ballot into the scanner, be your own over-vote protection: Mark it very carefully.

Now, a non-Sandy hitch: If you registered to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles, an online process to make voting easier, Suffolk officials may not accept it. If they don't, ask for an affidavit ballot, so your vote can be counted later.

Today, it's up to us to get to the polls and vote. Sandy has done enough damage. Let's not let her leave our election a shambles, too.

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