Secretary Johnson to participate in national election emergency task force

LANSING, Mich. — Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today announced that she will participate in a national task force examining state elections procedures for dealing with emergencies.

Formed by the National Association of Secretaries of State in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Task Force on Emergency Preparedness for Elections will examine laws and practices that better allow state election officials to prepare for and respond to emergency situations.

“The massive disruptions that Hurricane Sandy caused to elections throughout the East Coast show the critical need for emergency planning and preparation,” Johnson said. “I look forward to working with my counterparts in other states to determine how we can better conduct elections during and immediately after disasters.”

Election-related examples of emergency planning and response issues that arose due to Superstorm Sandy included emergency voting/absentee ballot procedures, state-local/municipal information-sharing and emergency communications, equipment shortages, emergency authority issues and continuity of elections. The storm struck the East Coast days before the Nov. 6 presidential election.

More information about the emergency preparedness task force can be found on the NASS website.