The District of Columbia Board of Election and Ethics (DCBOEE) is working to extend early voting operations in order to accommodate voters who were unable to vote earlier this week due to hurricane Sandy’s high winds and heavy rainfall.
The District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE) reopened early election polling places Wednesday with extended hours, after citizens stood in long lines Saturday and Hurricane Sandy closed polls on Monday and Tuesday. Hours have been extended to 9 p.m., voting open at 8:30 a.m. each day until Saturday, Nov. 3. This gives voters two more hours than before. Additional voting machines have been placed in each polling place due to Sandy’s interruption as well, according to a DCBOEE press release.
“We want to ensure that every voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot in this General Election,” said Clifford D. Tatum, the Board’s Executive Director, in the release.
Tatum told Patch a little more than 11,000 people had voted in the early election at the closing of voting centers on Saturday, before the polls were closed and Hurricane Sandy hit. Tatum did not know if the turnout was significant, since this is the District of Columbia's first presidential election in which early voting is offered.
Tatum touted the two-week length of the District of Columbia early election, which gives voters from Oct. 22 to Nov. 3 to vote early. Early voting in Maryland began Oct. 27 and ends Nov. 1, according to the Maryland Board of Elections website.
The District of Columbia had a good early election turnout during the first few days of early voting, Tatum told Patch, and he said voting lines were long Wednesday.
"I think by extending the hours we will be able to makeup [any lost] ground," said Tatnum.
Judy Bunnell, a Georgetown resident, voted early Wednesday. She told Patch that the line was not too long and she was pleased with the efficiency of the process.
Voters may cast their vote at any early voting location to ensure that lines keep moving. For a list of polling places, click here, though note that the hours on the page have not been updated to the two-hour extension.
Polls will be open on election day Nov. 6 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.