CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Lingering effects from Superstorm Sandy may suppress voter turnout in the hardest hit counties, but local officials believe turnout in the Kanawha Valley will be strong.
Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick said Friday she anticipates close to voter turnout could be north of 60 percent for the general election.
"We're lucky," McCormick said. "We haven't had problems with the storm, people know that precincts will be open - I think we'll do 60 to 65 percent."
While much of Kanawha County suffered power outages last week, McCormick said power was restored to almost all polling place locations by Friday.
Only one precinct in Alum Creek was questionable Friday morning, but McCormick said she believes the county would be able to secure generator power for that location on Election Day.
In Jackson County, County Clerk Jeff Waybright said he intends to have all normal precincts up and running as normal on Election Day.
Only one polling place was without power in that county following the storm. If power were to stay down there, or go out at other locations Tuesday, Waybright said he plans to power those locations with generators.
"We have located some generator backup power and will move those accordingly, if needed," he said.
He said moving a polling place would only be a last resort.
"I don't like to do that, because so often people don't get notified," Waybright said. "Even if you leave a notice on the door, sometimes people get disgruntled and don't go anywhere else."
Jackson County is one of the few counties that has a satellite early voting location. In addition to a polling place at the county courthouse in Ripley, the county also has a voting location in Ravenswood.
Both locations remained open during the storm, though turnout was about one-third of what it usually is. But turnout bounced back the next day.
He expects turnout in that county to be on par with the 2008 election.
"We've had a big voter turnout for early voting," Waybright said. "In the last Presidential election we had 57 percent turnout. I'd say it'll be about the same."
However, clerks in counties hit hardest by the storm are not too optimistic about turnout on Tuesday.
"I think, since the storm happened, our turnout will go way down," Randolph County Clerk Brenda Wiseman said.
"I hope it doesn't - I would hope people would still get out and vote - but some people may not be able to," she said.
Randolph was one of a handful of counties that suspended early voting on Tuesday of last week. The county still had more than 10,000 customers without power as of Friday.
Wiseman said the weather has taken its toll on the county, and it forced officials to move their early voting location from its original spot.