CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The recovery from last week's hurricane/blizzard that crippled parts of West Virginia could be the Election Day wild card.
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, however, said Monday that based on early voting turnout, she anticipates today's turnout will be close to figures for the 2008 general election -- despite superstorm Sandy.
A total of 150,666 ballots were cast during early voting, which ended at 5 p.m. Saturday.
That's down 2,023 early voting ballots from 2008, but Tennant noted that, not only was early voting suspended in some hard-hit counties because of the blizzard, but there were five fewer days scheduled to early vote this year.
"When people see their precincts are open ... they will get out and vote," she predicted.
As of Monday afternoon, 14 precincts in Preston, Upshur, Lewis, Randolph and Tucker counties had been moved to temporary locations, while four precincts in Barbour and Tucker counties will use National Guard-supplied tents on-site to provide electricity and heat.
Another concern, Tennant said, is that 16 secondary roads in the hard-hit counties remained closed as of Monday morning.
"We're hopeful that with a sunny day today, by tomorrow morning we'll have more clear roads," Tennant said Monday.
@brfs:Getting the vote out
@bod:State Democratic and Republican parties also will have get-out-the-vote efforts geared up today.
"We're working hard to get our people out to vote," Democratic Party executive director Derek Scarbro said Monday.
He said the party is arranging rides to the polls statewide, and said party supporters have made over 200,000 phone calls reminding Democrats to vote.
Likewise, state Republican Party chairman Conrad Lucas said the GOP has had eight victory centers operating in the state since the summer, and said volunteers at those centers have contacted more than 300,000 potential voters.
He said he expects voter turnout to be close to, or slightly exceed the 2008 general election.