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BALTIMORE - With election day a little more than a week away, Hurricane Sandy is making itself a part of the proceedings.
The storm has already forced the state of Maryland to cancel early voting Monday but could it have a more far-reaching impact on the national election?
Constitutional Law Professor Phillip Closius said that differs vastly on state and federal levels.
"If the legislature and governor decided they wanted to postpone the Maryland issues on the ballot, they can clearly do that with no problem," Closius said.
Maryland Election Law provides that "[i]n the event of a state of emergency, declared by the Governor in accordance with the provisions of law, that interferes with the electoral process, the emergency proclamation may: (1) provide for the postponement, until a specific date, of the election in part or all of the State; (2) specify alternate voting locations; or (3) specify alternate voting systems."
The decision to delay a vote on federal issues would come down to Congress. Much of the country is not affected by Sandy, complicating that much more.
"The president would just do what he wanted to," Closius said. "In Congress you have House of Representatives and senators so it's not going to be a wild leap of faith to understand that there are some people who wouldn't mind if the northeast didn't vote or at least if the turnout was less."
Not getting to the polls would likely have to play a large part in such a landmark move. Closius said he believes the vote will go off next Tuesday though.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 of the Constitution states: The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
"By implication, you must also all vote on the same day for the popular vote," Closius said.
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