Update: New Jersey voters and responders get extensions

Emergency first responders and residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy have until 8 p.m. on Friday ET to get their ballots in via email or fax.

New Jersey voters displaced by Superstorm Sandy and emergency responders working on relief and recovery efforts will have until 8 p.m. on Friday ET to fax or email their election ballots, authorities said on Tuesday.

State authorities took the uncommon step of declaring that voters displaced from their homes by Sandy would be designated overseas voters, allowing them to submit an absentee vote by fax or email.

At least 24 people were killed in New Jersey when the rare hybrid superstorm lashed the U.S. northeast on October 29, swamping seaside towns, flooding the New York City subway and knocking out power to millions of homes. It killed at least 114 people in the United States and Canada.

"November 9 by 8 p.m. (is the) deadline for first responders and voters displaced from their primary residence ... to transmit to the applicable county board of elections the signed waiver of secrecy along with the voted ballot by fax or email," said the New Jersey Division of Elections.

According to the Federal Voting Assistance Program, about a dozen U.S. states allow absentee ballots - mainly from overseas voters - to be returned by email or fax, while several more have the ability to allow this in certain emergency situations.ž

"There's no reason why anybody shouldn't vote. We're going to have a full, fair, transparent, open voting process," New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Saturday.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols)