Absentee Voters Casting Ballots Earlier with Relaxed Rules

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Absentee voters are casting their ballots earlier now that the state has relaxed rules due to Hurricane Sandy.

Charlottesville Voter Registrar Sheri Iachetta says her office saw a rush of absentee voters Monday.  The Virginia State Board of Elections is allowing in-person absentee voting for people concerned storm damage could keep them from the polls next Tuesday.

The hurricane has suspended absentee voting in 10 of Virginia's 95 counties.  The Charlottesville office plans to stay open at this point.

"If we lose power, we can still vote people," Iachetta said.  "We're ready to go.  We've got our flashlights and emergency supplies.  We worked on that this weekend to make sure - not knowing what was going to happen.  So, I'm comfortable in our procedures.  It comes down to whether or not the city will close and tell us whether we can stay or not."

Tuesday is the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail.  Charlottesville has processed more than 2,200 absentee voter applications so far.