Washington - Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate said Monday he's asked general counsel to assess what FEMA could do if Sandy impacts the ability of storm-tossed states to hold general elections Nov. 6 because of damaged polling places or polling machines or other problems.
"It's really too early to say ... until we know what the impact is," Fugate said. He said the secretaries of state from the affected states would make all decisions about elections.
President Obama has approved requests for emergency aid from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, allowing FEMA, under law, to pay for 75 percent of debris removal and repairs to public roads and buildings.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had requested 100 percent reimbursement. Fugate said after the impact of Sandy is fully determined, he "would consider further assistance."
That is likely to require a new appropriation from Congress, which is looking to shrink federal programs to avoid automatic, across-the-board cuts that would shrink FEMA's budget by nearly $1 billion.
After the storm-hit areas are declared disaster areas, the federal government will provide housing assistance, low-interest loans and other help to the hurricane's victims.