Strange comparisons for strange times: A presidential election day is a little bit like a hurricane. Prior to and throughout the duration of it, everything changes. Other news pretty much stops (or we largely stop paying attention to it), cancelled or postponed indefinitely until things "calm down" and we have the presence of mind or time or energy to return to that other stuff, assuming the "other stuff" is still relevant at all. The news of the day is the main event against which all else pales. In the case of a presidential election, it comes only every four years; a hurricane, well, let's hope it's less, and so in the discrete pieces of time that surround such events we talk about them ad nauseam, in whichever way we can—parsing, analyzing, complaining, trying to understand, anticipating, planning, plotting, preparing, looking at photos—until we are red or blue in the face.
Of course, there are major differences between a hurricane and a presidential election, and this is not an attempt to belittle either in terms of impact, whether the impact is positive or negative. A presidential election is something ostensibly good, something that says America and what we stand for, even if not everyone is happy with the process itself or the way it turns out. A hurricane is an uncontrollable weather pattern; in the best case overhyped and underplayed and in the worst case, devastating. Sandy was more devastating than overhyped, which means, as we vote and then wait for the news of who our president will be, that storm will be in the back of our minds—it was news just yesterday, after all, and all last week—and it's top of mind for people who are trying to find ways to vote in the wake of the storm. It will remain a big news story even past the election, as we prepare for another storm, and as people struggle to recover their homes and their lives.