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Officials: New Jersey Residents Hit by Sandy Can Vote by Email, Fax


A man carries a box of donated goods at a relief center set up in a parking lot on November 3, 2012 for victims of superstorm Sandy. (Photo: Getty Images)

(TheBlaze/AP) -- New Jersey will allow residents displaced by Superstorm Sandy to vote by email or fax, alleviating concerns by some that the devastation could suppress the vote or even cause the election to be postponed.

Officials announced Saturday that registered voters can vote electronically, but must submit a mail-in ballot application by fax or email to the local county clerk.

When the request is received, a ballot will be emailed or faxed back, and ballots must be returned no later than 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno says the effort will help alleviate pressure on polling places Tuesday, many of which are far more difficult to access in the storm's wake.  The damage is so complete in some areas that New Jersey is using military trucks in the place of damaged polling stations.

Officials say electronic voting is also an option for emergency workers, and one that is already open to New Jersey voters overseas and in the military.

However, while many say they would rather vote online if they had the option, there is also a concern that the lack of face-to-face contact will make it much easier to commit voter fraud.

Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University, weighed in on the issue last year and concluded that online voting was "unsafe" and something "no technological breakthrough" he could anticipate would change.

"People's computers are not getting more secure," he remarked. "They're getting more infected with viruses. They're getting more under the control of malware."

Officials have not specified how many people they expect to vote online, or whether they are putting in extra security measures for the presumably increased number of voters.



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