Thanks to the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, voters waited in some states on Tuesday for more than an hour before being able to cast their ballots in the U.S. national election.
Americans went to the polls to decide who would lead the United States for the next four years: incumbent Democratic President Barack Hussein Obama, or GOP contender Mitt Romney. Also on the ballots were the names of state representatives and senators -- those who will comprise the nation's two houses of Congress -- as well as local leaders such as judges and other elected officials.
In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, polls opened at 6:00 a.m. local time. In New York, voters were permitted to vote by affidavit ballot in any district, and at any polling station they could find.
Speaking with reporters after casting his own ballot in Westchester County, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the heavy turnout was a good reflection on democracy.
"More than anything, people should just vote,” Cuomo said, adding that this year's election was one of the most important polls for New York to take place in decades.
No changes were predicted in New Jersey or Connecticut, however; both states told voters to check their state divisions of elections for any questions about where to cast one's ballot.
Voter turnout was surprisingly heavy in storm-ravaged areas in both New York and New Jersey. Lines were long, and voters waited up to an hour or more to cast their ballots. Some people still had no power in their homes eight days after Hurricane Sandy had devastated the area. Some people had no homes at all.
At one polling station, voters were not asked to show any identification, and tempers were easily frayed.
Brooklyn resident Dov Levi told Arutz Sheva, “I voted outside my neighborhood this year, and while standing in line, one of the people waiting actually became insulted when someone else suggested he show some ID before stepping into the voting booth. The guy said 'Citizenship is not really important – it's one's presence here that counts.' I was a little stunned.”