Monday May 21, 2018

#Sandy Impacts #NYTech and #2012Election Polling Centers

Downtown New York

Downtown New York (Photo credit: sreevishnu)

Last week, Hurricane Sandy negatively affected the tech scene in NY. It knocked out power lines and flooded data centers and offices of startup companies. WNYC’s New Tech City spoke with Rachel Haot, NYC’s Chief Digital Officer, about the impact Sandy had on the city’s tech companies and their infrastructure. Haot explained that the city is working to support the tech sector and has received confirmation from all of NY’s startups that they are able to account for all of their employees.

Additionally, as today is election day, Sandy also complicated new redistricting and knocked out power at several polling locations. Host of New Tech city, Manoush Zomorodi spoke with Jed Alpert, CEO of Brooklyn-based Mobile Commons, about its efforts to help the election process through a national text messaging campaign.

In NY about 60 polling sites have either been moved or combined. Mobile Commons is using their Polling Place Locator to text alerts to help voters locate their nearest polling place by texting “Where” to a particular number. The response will notify the user of the closest, working polling center. Alpert stressed that since text messaging takes the least work on the part of cell towers, that in situations like Sandy people can rely more on text message communication.