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PATIENCE AT THE POLLS



Published: Tue, November 4, 2008 @ 12:00 a.m.
  Early Voters

By David Skolnick

Limit your wait by getting to the polls at the right time, an election official says.

YOUNGSTOWN — When it comes to today’s presidential election, area election officials have two words of advice: Be patient.

There’s a very good chance those voting today at their polling places will stand in line waiting to cast ballots, the election officials say.

But if everything goes smoothly — something the election officials expect — the wait shouldn’t be too long, they say.

The longest waits, about an hour or so, will be at busy polling locations at peak times, they say.

But the election officials offer a strategy for those who want to reduce the waiting time.

Avoid going to the polls when they first open, at lunch time and after dinner, said Jeff Greenburg, director of Mercer County’s Bureau of Registration and Elections.

The polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Ohio and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Pennsylvania.

“There should be no line mid-morning, around 10 a.m., or mid-afternoon, around 3 p.m.,” he said.

The lines were long at the Mahoning and Trumbull counties boards of elections Monday, the last day for no-fault early voting in Ohio.

Every registered voter in Ohio had the option of voting by mail or at a county elections board office during the past 35 days, said Thomas McCabe, Mahoning County elections director.

The wait at the Mahoning County Board of Elections was up to an hour with about 2,500 voting early Monday.

The wait was shorter in Trumbull County, where about 1,000 voted Monday.

Victoria Rusu, 21, of Austintown, a Youngstown State University student, waited in line for about 25 minutes Monday.

Rusu, a volunteer for Democratic Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, said she had no time until Monday to vote early.

“I don’t want to worry about it [today] because I want to be able to work and make sure people know where to vote,” she said.

Rusu, voting in her first presidential election, will be on the YSU campus making sure people get to the polls today.

“We are making history,” she said. “It’s the most excited I’ve seen people.”

James White, 43, of Youngstown, waited for more than 30 minutes Monday at the Mahoning elections board.

“I was going to wait till [today], but I realized I wouldn’t have time,” he said.

“It’s worth it,” he said of waiting in line.

For Mary Lou Carbon, 65, of Poland, early voting Monday was easier than waiting for today.

Carbon said she would need to drive her mother, Phil Pelly, 88, to her polling place in Youngstown.

“Rather than waiting in two lines [today], I thought I’d wait in one line” Monday, she said.

When Carbon found out she and her mother could both vote at the elections board, and Pelly would have somewhere to sit while waiting, she decided to take advantage of early voting.

“She wants to vote,” said Carbon of her mother. “This is just more efficient. Why go to two places?”

Close to 50,000 in Mahoning County took advantage of early voting at the elections board office or through mail, McCabe said.

More than 25,000 voted early in Trumbull County, said Kelly Pallante, its elections director.

Those are records for both counties, they said.

Pallante, McCabe and Greenburg said their counties are prepared for today’s election.

All of the electronic touch-screen voting machines were tested and are ready for use today, they said.

“We’re pretty confident there won’t be problems,” McCabe said.

Pallante added that she is also “confident it will go smoothly.”

“All of the machines were checked, and the testing came out very good,” Greenburg said.

skolnick@vindy.com

kseminara@vindy.com


Comments

1jneill7854(6 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

It is all of the posts of hate that have prompted Obama supporters like me to donate whatever we could to his campaign. It is all of the small donations pooled together that have led us to where we are today. The Obama campaign has outspent, outmanned and out maneuvered the McCain campaign despite all of the hate messages we have all tolerated.

McCain's campaign has been a new message a day. Unfortunately, his ideas are just a continuation of Bush's failed policies, many of which he used to oppose. He has shown extremely poor judgment with his campaigns tone and demeanor and now it has played out to where we are today.

Now is time for the Middle Class citizens to confidently take matters into their own hands and decide the future of our country based on hope, tolerance, diversity, moderation and above all respecting the values and principles of ALL of the US citizens and avoid the hate, divisions, arrogance, and extremism that have been emitted in all of these blogs. Now is the time!

Obama/Biden 2008

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2poorvalley(7 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Wow... this picture is worth a 1000 words! I remember my dad saying that he had lived through good times in America but he was worried for us (this even though he was in World War II!)Now I am worried fro my children. Those of us who lived through the Cold war and collapse of the USSR are finding it necessary to EXPLAIN to the youth what SOCIALISM is... we all knew.While I'm glad this woman is voting, it's frightening to think that she probably has no clue who's really going to be "paying for her gas and mortgage"-those of us with a two income household who have worked hard for 30 years to become RICH!

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3sinthor(87 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

If i was her,id find you an punch you in the mouth! im sure she knows who an what shes voting for. Some nerv!!

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4poorvalley(7 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I bet she's smarter than you. I bet she can even spell, and perhaps she doesn't threaten to punch people who disagree with her. You assume too much, and judging from your post,
you are pretty ignorant! God save America!

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5poorvalley(7 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

the rest of my post that didn't make it...
I bet she's smarter than you and I bet she can spell too! And perhaps she doesn't threaten to punch people...

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6JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

poorvalley, I'm worried for your children too.

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7apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Right wingers who get on here and spew the socialistic themes simply show their ability to parrot the Limbaugh and Republican line.

Yet, they say nothing of socialistic bailout of Wall Street? As if providing taxpayer cash for the wealthy is somehow different than supplying taxpayer cash for anything else. Although I think their socialist smokescreen is nothing more than racist in nature. A backhanded reference to welfare. Funny too, most welfare goes to white single mothers.

Obama winning isn't going to dratically change America. It will make us more respected in the world. It will change the direction of spending to more important issues like health care, energy policy that makes sense, and issues that matter to the middle class.

Obama winning is a good thing.

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8poorvalley(7 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Define socialism, Apollo. Oh, and by the way, I agree with your comments about the bailout. It was socialistic and a BAD thing. Long and short, are you better able to take care of yourself or have the government do it for you? I happen to be too busy working to listen to talk radio since it comes on during the WORK DAY! How do you know what they're saying on those shows. Have you been listening to them or has somebody told you? (second hand information)

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