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Elections Officials Scramble to Get Ballots to Sandy Recovery Workers Who Are Out of State

Photo courtesy of Valard LP

An unknown number of workers who are helping with the recovery after Superstorm Sandy may have difficulty casting their votes today because they are away from their home states. New Hampshire elections officials are doing what they can, as required by state law, to help make sure those workers can cast their ballots.

More than 300 workers from New Hampshire left the state—mostly for Connecticut—to help storm-ravaged areas rebuild and get power back online. Of those, about 20 have contacted elections officials in the state requesting voting assistance. 

The secretary of state's office has told town clerks to use overnight carriers to get the ballots to the workers and to include another overnight envelope for the ballots to be returned.

The secretary of state's office said it will pay for the mailings.

At noontime Monday, the secretary of state's office had not decided how to get ballots to eight line workers from southeast New Hampshire who were working in Connecticut. [Deputy Secretary of State David] Scanlan did not rule out driving the ballots to them, although state law said police could be used only to drive ballots to a New Hampshire location.

Mark MacKenzie, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, said he's pleased with the efforts by the secretary of state to get the ballots to the line workers. He said the effort could involve more than 300 people, mostly members of the Electrical Workers locals in Dover, Barrington, Manchester and New Boston.

Information is not currently available about how many workers from other states might be affected by similar problems. Workers traveled from as far away as Miami to help out with recovery efforts in New York and New Jersey. It remains to be seen if they had or will have any problems in voting.

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