arrowSection 7.1 - Presidential Elections

This topic is monitored by Moritz Law Professor Peter M. Shane

Print Page

States That Have a Statutory/Regulatory Scheme for Delaying Elections in Case of Emergency

Florida – The governor may suspend or delay any election after declaring a state of emergency. The rescheduled election must be held within 10 days of the original election, or as soon as possible thereafter. The Division of Elections must adopt an "elections emergency contingency plan". FLA. STAT. ANN. § 101.733 (West 2004) and FLA. ADMIN. CODE ANN. r. 1S-9.001 et seq. (2004).

Georgia – If the governor declares a state of emergency, the secretary of state may postpone the date of any election by not more than 45 days. Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-50.1 (2003).

Iowa – The secretary of state, in the role of state commissioner of election, may exercise emergency powers over any election affected by a disaster of natural or other origin. The secretary of state must adopt rules setting out the extent of the emergency powers and when they will be exercised. The current rules stipulate that no federal election may be postponed or suspended. IOWA CODE ANN. § 47.1 (West 2004) and IOWA ADMIN. CODE r. 721-21.1(47) (2004).

Maryland – The governor may declare a state of emergency, providing for the postponement of the election in all or part of the state in the emergency proclamation. MD. CODE ANN., ELEC. § 8-103 (2004).

New York – The State Board of Elections may order an additional day for voting, not more than twenty days after the original election, when a disaster causes fewer than 25% of eligible voters to actually be able to vote. N.Y. ELEC. LAW § 3-108 (McKinney 2001).

North Carolina – The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections may exercise emergency powers to conduct an election where the normal schedule for the election has been disrupted by a natural disaster, extremely inclement weather, or armed conflict. N.C. GEN. STAT. § 163-27.1 (2004).

Virginia – The governor may postpone an election not more than 14 days in areas affected by a declared state of emergency. VA. CODE ANN. § 24.2-603.1 (Michie 2004).

Details of election postponement statutes currently in force

State Statute Who has the power to delay or postpone? How long may the election be postponed? Under what conditions?
Florida § 101.733 Governor Within 10 days or as soon as possible "Emergency" or "common disaster"; "state of emergency" or "pending emergency" declared by governor
Georgia § 21-2-50.1 Secretary of state Not more than 45 days State of emergency declared by governor
Iowa § 47.1 Secretary of state Prescribed by administrative rules (presently, federal elections may not be postponed or suspended) "Natural or other disaster or extremely inclement weather"; armed conflict or mobilization of armed forces; "errors in the conduct of an election making it impossible to determine the result"
Maryland Elec. § 8-103 Governor No set time period "State of emergency, declared by Governor in accordance with the provisions of law, that interferes with the electoral process"
New York Elec. Law § 3-108 State Board of Elections Not more than 20 days "Fire, earthquake, tornado, explosion, power failure, act of sabotage, enemy attack or other disaster" as a result of which less than 25% of registered voters of a jurisdiction actually voted
N. Carolina § 163-27.1 Executive Director of the State Board of Elections No set time period "Natural disaster", "extremely inclement weather", armed conflict or mobilization of forces
Virginia § 24.2-603.1 Governor Not more than 14 days State of emergency declared by governor of Virginia, president, or governor of another state