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Expected power outages were a widespread concern, particularly after a severe storm system known as a derecho swept through the region in late June and left 4.2 million people across 11 states without power, some of them for more than a week.

After Bethesda resident Brett DiResta lost power for four days following the derecho, he and his family spent two days living in a hotel and another two days staying with friends near Washington Dulles International Airport.

The hardest part, Mr. DiResta said with a laugh, was keeping his young children occupied.

“Our kids are 7, 5 and 18 months old,” he said. “Keeping the three of them entertained when there are no lights and it gets dark around 6 [p.m.] — I don’t know what we’re going to do.

“We have a lot of board games, card games, a recharging DVD player. I don’t know how our parents did it when they didn’t have battery-operated DVD players and stuff like that.”

Politicking on hold

A professor at George Washington University and a longtime campaign consultant and political opposition researcher, Mr. DiResta said the storm could wreak havoc with regional and national political campaigns running a frenzied sprint to the Election Day finish line next week.

Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, said his organization canceled all of its Monday volunteer shifts, in part because the state canceled early voting.

Anticipating the storm, Mr. Levin’s organization — which supports a ballot question in support of gay marriage — asked its supporters to turn out for early voting last weekend.

“We saw a huge spike in turnout on Saturday and Sunday versus the first couple of early voting [days] in previous elections,” he said. “We did a last-second ad buy focusing on websites and mobile apps that do weather tracking and predictions. We’re also doing an extra push on social media, figuring that people will be there emailing and checking Facebook until the power goes out.

“The real question will be, what is the damage from the storm? How many people have power out, for how long? If the power is out, do people not see commercials being aired by both sides? And on Election Day, will people still be focused on cleaning up?”

Conspiracy theories

Reports that storm-related federal government office closings could potentially delay Friday’s scheduled release of October’s jobs report by the Department of Labor touched off political conspiracy chatter online, with Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley writing on Twitter that “Labor Dept says may not release latest unemployment figures until after election. Par for course.

Why release something might hurt Obama elect?”

Like many federal employees, Matthew Sigafoose, a research psychologist at U.S. Office of Personnel Management, spent Monday working from home.

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