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Charleston, W.Va. – Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant said Early Voting continues across West Virginia as Hurricane Sandy threatens the northeast with high winds, rain, and snow in higher elevations.
“If you don’t have to go out, stay inside and make sure you are ready for this storm,” Secretary Tennant said. “Be mindful of high water, downed power lines, and icy conditions. Please, do not go out and risk your safety to try and make it to an early voting location. There are several more days of early voting and even Election Day, which is next Tuesday. Use your best judgment and stay off the roads if it’s not safe.”
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has issued a State of Emergency but has not ordered roads closed or ordered people to stay in their homes.
The Secretary of State’s Office is working closely with County Clerks to develop contingency plans for early voting locations in the event power is lost or if other emergencies occur. The Secretary of State’s Office continues to stay in close contact with the National Weather Service and the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security for updates on Hurricane Sandy.
Depending on the nature of the emergency, there could be some disruption of early voting. For example, high water may make certain roads impassable or bridges unsafe to cross.
If power goes out at an early voting location, the batteries on iVotronic touch screen voting machines have enough power to run the machines for several hours. The Secretary of State’s Office is working on other voting options for people to vote if the power is lost at early voting locations for an extended period of time. Power outages have been experienced in previous elections, but did not stop the elections process.