When Sandy slammed into the East Coast on Monday, it set into motion a tight timeline for election officials: one week to ensure that voters in states from Virginia to New Hampshire would be able cast their ballots on Election Day.
But power outages, flooding and snow left in the storm's wake could make that impossible for voters in some of the hardest-hit states.
Some fire stations, schools, community centers and other venues that serve as polling places will have to be cleaned up if they were flooded or damaged.
Other polling spots may need to be relocated if they are too damaged to be used. Voting machines may have to be dropped off at some polling places with election officials gambling that power will be restored there by Tuesday.
Many electronic voting machines -- used now by two out of every five counties nationwide, according to the Voting Technology Project -- often require consistent power to work for the long hours they are needed on Election Day, even though some have battery power.
If electricity remains out in some areas next Tuesday, those areas may have to scramble to find alternatives, including paper ballots.
It is unlikely voters in the hardest hit states will be given an extension if they cannot access polls, despite damage from the storm.
Only Congress can change Election Day, according to an 1845 law. If it opts to alter the timetable -- something never previously done -- every state would have to be included.
The same law also says that if a state "shall fail to make a choice" on Election Day, then electors to the Electoral College may be appointed on a "subsequent day" as determined by state law.
As state and county election officials throughout the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast work to coordinate logistics at polling stations scattered across Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, it is still unknown whether all voters in the states hardest hit by Sandy will have the opportunity to cast their ballots on Election Day.
New Jersey: 'We're not sure. At this point, we're looking at a lot of changes.' The biggest challenge for election officials in the Garden State are logistical: power outages, blocked roads and flooding, according to Dennis Kobitz, president of the New Jersey Association of Election Officials.
Election officials have been in touch on conference calls since the storm hit on Monday. On a call on Tuesday, election officials from Essex, Bergen and Union counties said electrical outages were the chief concern; in Ocean, Mercer and Monmouth counties, officials said their biggest obstacle was flooding.
Calls to election officials in these counties were not immediately returned.
Kobitz has had to scale back the number of polling locations in Union County because of power outages and access problems to some of the 190 polling locations.
"We would like to keep one to two polling places in each town," Kobitz said, because he doesn't like to force voters to travel long distances.
Delivering electronic voting machines from the county's warehouse to polling stations is also presenting a problem.
"Our biggest problem at this point is getting the machines to the polling places. Nobody's there to accept the machines," Kobitz said, noting that many of the them are locked and without power.
"Do I leave [the polling machines at the polling stations]?" Kobitz asked, frustrated with the unknown. "How do I take a chance that the schools will have power?"
"I can't just deliver 433 machines -- there's no way to do that in one day," he said.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker said he was confident that New Jersey residents would be able to cast ballots next week.
But he said he was focusing on emergency needs first, saying that there would be time to worry about voting.
"I'm sure that as Election Day gets closer, we're going to find ways to make sure that it's as functional as possible and people are able to vote," Booker told CNN's "Starting Point on Tuesday.
New York: Cards stacked against them
For election officials in Nassau County, New York, located on Long Island just east of Manhattan, the cards are stacked against them.
The county, which was declared a disaster area following Sandy's beating on Monday night, has experienced many of the same problems as the hardest-hit areas, including flooding and power outages.