CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, along with spokesmen for the state's major political parties, urged residents to exercise caution when it comes to early voting as Hurricane Sandy pummels the state with heavy rain, high winds and snow.
"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," Tennant said Monday, reminding voters there will be opportunities to vote once the storm has passed.
"There are several more days of early voting, and even Election Day, which is [Nov. 6]. Use your best judgment and stay off the roads if it's not safe," Tennant said.
Early voting at county courthouses around the state continues until Saturday.
Early voting was canceled for Tuesday in the Eastern Panhandle's Morgan County. Morgan was the only county authorized to suspend early voting, and the suspension is for one day only, Tennant said Monday.
County courthouses in several other counties were to be closed Tuesday, but Tennant said that just because county commissioners close a courthouse, that doesn't mean early voting is suspended in the county.
The secretary of state's office is working with county clerks to establish contingency plans for early voting in the event of extended power outages or other storm-related emergency conditions.
Tennant said batteries on iVotronic touch-screen voting machines have enough power to run the machines for several hours in the event of a power outage. She said there have been instances where individual voting locations have lost power without hampering the voting process.
During a media briefing at the state Emergency Operations Center Monday afternoon, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said restoring power to early-voting locations would be a priority.