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Voice of the people

Dec. 03, 2012 @ 11:00 PM

Storm responders assisted elections

More than 600,000 West Virginians cast their ballot in the 2012 General Election. Almost all went into the polling place thinking about which candidate would get their vote -- not that they may need to say thank you to those who made it possible for them to vote.

This Election Day, election officials were faced with a challenge none of them had ever faced before: How to administer early voting as the remnants of a hurricane dumped several feet of snow on top of them. They also had to think about Election Day and what precincts would be impossible to open and how to make sure the citizens of our state have access to open, free and honest elections.

The job done by local election officials was nothing short of superhuman. They made bold contingency plans with the best interest of the voters in mind.

The effort of the National Guard was simply awe inspiring. These men and women were there when their state needed them. They provided tents that would serve as temporary polling places, provided heat and electricity to those tents, and were standing by to make sure poll workers would be able to get to their assigned precinct.

Emergency crews and Department of Highways crews worked around the clock plowing snow and clearing roads of fallen trees. Power company crews worked tirelessly restoring power to our homes and to the buildings that served as polling places.

It was a team effort of which everyone in West Virginia should be proud. I know I certainly am.

These citizens, who do what they do because it must be done and not for attention, made it possible for the rest of us to make our voice heard on Election Day.

And for that I sincerely say, "Thank you."

Natalie E. Tennant

West Virginia Secretary of State

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