WASHINGTON (AP)— President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in the nation’s capital as Hurricane Sandy approaches.

The White House said in a news release that the president on Sunday signed the state of emergency declaration, which had been requested by Mayor Vincent Gray. It says federal aid should supplement the city’s response efforts due to the emergency conditions.

Obama’s action authorizes the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts, and to provide assistance for required emergency measures. The order clears the way for FEMA to mobilize and provide equipment and resources to help.

The move follows the federal government’s decision to close offices on Monday. The district’s board of elections also announced it was suspending early voting on Monday. It has not been determined whether here will be early voting on Tuesday.

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