New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said today that the National Guard would be on hand to help ensure a smooth Election Day Tuesday in parts of his state that remain without power after Hurricane Sandy.
"Everybody should be ready to vote on Tuesday, and in fact you can vote beforehand. I've order the county clerks' offices in every county in New Jersey to be open both days of the weekend." the Republican said. "You don't have to wait to vote. If you've got a little time on your hands, you're tired of cleaning this stuff up, go there, in person, you'll get a ballot, you vote, hand it in and you're done."
"If you wait until Tuesday, there's one of three things that'll happen. First, if your polling place has power, you'll go and you'll walk in as normal and vote. If you're polling place doesn't have power, we will have a truck there, set up with National Guardsmen guarding it, for you to be able to go in and vote old school, with a paper ballot," Christie said.
State officials in New Jersey requested information from each county about the status of polling places. At a press conference in Bergen County, Christie said all of the information was received by the state's lieutenant governor by the end of the day on Friday.
"There's no reason why anybody shouldn't vote. We're going to have a full, fair, transparent open voting process," he said. Officials in several states have expressed concern about voting operations.
He also said he spoke with President Barack Obama earlier today and that he remains satisfied with the federal response.
Christie has ordered the rationing of gasoline. People have encountered lines that stretched for miles at gas stations in many parts of the Garden State. Under the system, people in affected areas will only be allowed to purchase fuel for their cars on either odd or even days of the week, depending on license plate numbers.
Top federal officials were in a variety of states trying to recover from the storm Saturday, all the way from West Virginia to Connecticut. West Virginia is dealing with the aftermath of a snowstorm that resulted from Sandy.
Hundreds of thousands of customers remained without electricity as of today in the aftermath of Sandy. At a news conference this afternoon, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was particularly critical of the response of the Long Island Power Authority and the pace of restoration efforts in the Rockaways.
Bloomberg said the authority hasn't "acted aggressively enough" in getting the lights back on in the area of Queens that has seen tremendous devastation from the storm. Rep. Bob Turner (R-N.Y.) saw his house destroyed by a fire that broke out during Sandy, along with about 80 other flooded homes in the area.