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Virginia Gov. McDonnell: Sandy won’t affect readiness for election day

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said on Sunday that his state is prepared for the severe storm that threatens to devastate the East Coast and potentially affect the outcome of the election.

Speaking on CNN's State of the Union, McDonnell said that the state had learned the lessons of the last monumental storm, which left Virginians without power for days, and was unconcerned about a repeat of that situation playing out with this storm.

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"We've got about 2,000 additional people that are coming into Virginia to help our power suppliers, and the state Board of Elections is already planning for extended hours in advance for absentee voting, and it's now a priority -- moved up to the same level as hospitals and police stations -- to have power restored, so we don't anticipate the problem," he said.

Virginians will head to local schools and churches to vote on Nov. 7, and McDonnell said it would be a top priority to restore power to polling places if the state experiences widespread outages.


However, even if the storm doesn't keep people from the polls on Election Day, it has already affected the candidates' ability to campaign in one of the closest battleground states in the nation. Both GOP candidate Mitt Romney and President Obama's campaigns canceled scheduled appearances in the state on Sunday, and the storm could keep them out of Virginia for much of the next week.

That will make it difficult for the two to give their closing pitches to Virginia voters, but McDonnell, a prominent Romney surrogate, said he still believes the GOP nominee will win.

"It's close, and it's going to come down to turnout and the last undecided voters," he said, but insisted Romney will win thanks to his calls to reverse sequester cuts to defense spending and over the administration’s handling of the September attacks on the American Consulate in Libya.