That’s a question I’ve heard and read quite a bit in the aftermath of the widespread, massive devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. The answer is: Technically with Congressional approval it could happen, but it’s not likely:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Could superstorm Sandy postpone the presidential election?
The question has come up now because it could take days to fully restore power across the East Coast — and the election is just a week away.
Congress sets the date for the presidential election and could change it, but that’s unlikely. Congress would have to come back from recess and pass a law. Plus, it would wreak havoc on state and local elections scheduled for the same day.
It’s more likely that states will extend voting hours or relocate polling places that are damaged or without power.
Elections have been postponed in the past, but not at the presidential level. New York City rescheduled mayoral primaries scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001. And New Orleans pushed back municipal elections after Hurricane Katrina.
And just for the record: The President has ZERO authority to change an election date. Thank goodness.
Get more answers to your questions on the legal issues surrounding changing a Presidential election date here.
Also, please remember to keep all those impacted by Sandy in your thoughts and prayers. The death toll now stands at 48, hundreds if not thousands of homes have been lost or destroyed beyond repair, some towns were (and are still) under water due to this storm, and thousands are having to stay with friends or family or in shelters because they can’t get back to their home to assess if they have anything left. It’s an awful situation to be in – period – but especially right here as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach.