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New Jersey makes plans for makeshift voting places

MOONACHIE, N.J. — New Jersey state officials say they are extending the deadline for mail-in ballots and will deploy military trucks to serve as polling places on Election Day in storm-battered communities.

Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, a Republican, said Thursday that county clerks’ offices have been ordered to remain open this weekend to help process mail-in ballots.

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Voters will be able to go to the clerks’ offices through Tuesday to fill out mail-in ballots and hand them in.

Requests for mail-in ballots are typically accepted by mail up to a week before an election and in person until 3 p.m. the day before an election.

Guadagno says it is unclear how many of the state’s 3,000 polling places have electricity but she will know better Friday. More than 1.7 million electric customers are without power.

New Jersey’s largest city, Newark, is under a state of emergency. At least half its residents do not have power and three died in the storm. Mayor Cory Booker said Thursday he had preliminary conversations regarding Election Day but does not yet have a plan for getting people to the polls.

‘‘I have a lot of faith in the power of this democracy, the resiliency of our communities, and that when Election Day comes we will make a way for people to vote,’’ Booker said.

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County election officials along New Jersey’s storm-battered Atlantic Coast were taking it upon themselves to assess the damage to polling places and determine contingency plans.

Michael Kennedy, the Democratic registrar for the board of elections in hard-hit Cape May County, said many polling places will have to be combined.

‘‘It’s still a pretty big mess out there. Some of them are under water and out of power,’’ Kennedy said of the polling sites.

Kennedy said he is also concerned about having enough volunteers to staff the sites.

‘‘A lot of our poll workers live on barrier islands and were relocated because of the storm,’’ he said.

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