State Election Laws: Overview of Statutes Regarding Emergency Election Postponement Within the State Page: 3 of 6
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Hawaii: If the extent of damage caused by any natural disaster is such that the ability of
voters, in any precinct, district, or county, to exercise their right to vote is substantially
impaired, the chief election officer may require the registered voters of the affected
precinct to vote by absentee ballot and may postpone the election in the affected precinct
for no more than 21 days, provided that the postponement does not affect the election,
tabulation or distribution of results for those precincts, districts, or counties not designated
for postponement. HAW. REV. STAT. 11-92.3 (2003).
Louisiana: Upon issuance of an executive order declaring a state of emergency or
impending emergency, the governor may suspend or delay any election. The governor
shall take such action only upon certification by the secretary of state that such a state of
emergency exists. As chief election officer of the parish, a clerk of the court may bring
to the attention of the secretary of state any difficulties occurring in his parish due to
natural disasters. If any delays or suspensions are authorized by the governor, the delayed
election day shall resume or be rescheduled as soon thereafter as is practicable. LA. REV.
STAT. 18:401.2 (2004).6
Maryland: In the event of a state of emergency, declared by the governor in accordance
with law, that interferes with the electoral process, the emergency proclamation may
provide for the postponement, until a specific date, of the election in part or all of the
state. Md. Code Ann. [Elections] 8-103 (2003).
New York: A county board of elections, or the state board of elections with respect to an
election conducted in a district in the jurisdiction of more than one county board of
elections, may determine that, as the direct consequence of fire, earthquake, tornado,
explosion, power failure, act of sabotage, enemy attack or other disaster, less than 25%
of the registered voters of any city, town or village, or if the city of New York, or any
county therein, actually voted in any general election. Such a determination shall be
subject to approval by the state board of elections. If the state board of elections makes
such determination, it shall notify the board of elections with the jurisdiction in that
county that an additional day of election shall be held. Thereafter, the county board of
elections shall set a date for an additional day for voting in the county, city, town or
village affected by the statement, which shall not be more than twenty days after the
original date of the general election. NY [Elections] LAW 3-108 (Consol. 2004).
North Carolina: The executive director, as chief state elections official, may exercise
emergency powers to conduct an election in a district where the normal schedule for the
election is disrupted by any of the following: a natural disaster, extremely inclement
weather, an armed conflict involving U.S. armed forces or mobilization of those forces,
6 The Louisiana election emergency statute begins with the following statement of findings:
"Due to the possibility of an emergency or common disaster occurring before or
during a regularly scheduled or special election, and in order to ensure maximum
citizen participation in the electoral process and provide a safe and orderly procedure
for persons seeking to qualify or exercise their right to vote, to minimize to whatever
degree possible a person's exposure to danger during declared states of emergency,
and to protect the integrity of the electoral process, it is hereby found and declared to
be necessary to designate a procedure for the emergency suspension or delay and
rescheduling of qualifying, absentee voting in person, and elections." LA. REV. STAT.
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State Election Laws: Overview of Statutes Regarding Emergency Election Postponement Within the State, report, October 26, 2004; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815770/m1/3/: accessed March 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.