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Camping out to cast first

Published: Tue, October 2, 2012 @ 12:10 a.m.

Democrats ‘sleep out’ at elections board to usher in early voting


Democrats set up camp outside the Mahoning County Board of Elections on Oak Hill Avenue. Monday night’s sleep-out was designed to raise awareness about early voting in Ohio, which began today.

By Jeanne Starmack



Outside the Mahoning County Board of Elections office on Oak Hill Avenue, the Democrats were ready to greet the start of early voting today in Ohio.

With tents and vans to keep off the rain and enough pizza and chips to keep hunger away until this morning, they were prepared Monday night to camp out and be the first to cast their votes for President Barack Obama.

What they weren’t prepared for, however, was the persistence of the mosquitoes that were enjoying a feast of their own. No one seemed sure if anyone had thought to bring bug spray.

“I generally don’t camp out, so it’s been an interesting experience,” said David Betras, chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party.

Also with him at the Mahoning County version of Sleep Out the Vote, a statewide event organized by the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus, were state Rep. Robert Hagan of Youngstown, D-60th, and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd.

“I do like to camp,” Schiavoni said.

They were expecting reinforcements, too, including U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, after the conclusion of a candidates’ forum at nearby Bethel Baptist Church.

With them also were volunteers who believe strongly that people should get out and vote.

One in particular won’t actually be voting herself. That’s because she’s only 17. Nonetheless, Colleen Craig, an Ursuline High School student from Austintown, was determined to do what she could to help her candidate win.

“We need to be excited and support [Obama] in everything he wants to do,” she said.

“We’re living in an exciting time,” she continued. “There’s a lot of uncertainty right now. It’s important we get involved in what’s going on, especially the younger generation.

“If you choose not to vote, it’s no protest,” she continued. “You are just surrendering. You need to let everybody know what’s important to you.”

Betras said he believes in Obama’s vision for the country.

“We’ll build this economy from the middle out, not from the top down,” he said. “[Obama] wants everyone to play by the same rules.”

The Democrats were staging their sleep-outs in the cities, which are the state’s Democratic strongholds, said Hagan.

The Republicans also were gearing up to promote candidate Mitt Romney, though, with a “Commit to Mitt Early Vote Express” tour. The Romney-Ryan Mobile Phone Bank Bus was expected to start the tour in Hamilton County, and Chris Maloney, Romney’s spokesman in Ohio, said it will be winding its way through the Mahoning Valley in the next few weeks.

There also will be Republican events today in Mahoning, Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Franklin counties.

Mahoning County’s is at the Youngstown Victory Center, 621 Boardman Canfield Road, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Maloney said Mahoning County Republican Party Chairman Mark Munroe will be there to explain the importance of early voting.

He said as more people vote early, it allows the campaign to focus on those who are left.

“We can have more effective voter contacts,” he said.

Republicans also are claiming a focus on the middle class.

Maloney said one of Romney’s top priorities is the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would begin in Canada and transport oil through the United States, linking to operating Keystone System pipelines that extend to the Gulf of Mexico.

“We have a large pipefitting industry [in Ohio],” he said. “And the pipeline would create jobs across the country.”

He said the Obama administration delayed the pipeline because of environmental lobbyists.


1jjking720(11 comments)posted 2 years ago

The Key-stone pipe-line job is a environmental disaster waiting to happen why do you think Canada don't want to build the pipeline across Canada's pristine water-sheds and beautiful landscape to one of there coastal cities.It's not because they love America so much and want to spur our Economy it's because they are afraid of the environmental consequences of a environmentally devastating Tar-Sands Oil spill. Google tar-sands oil spills and look at it's effects tar-sand oil is thick like pea-nut butter and it sinks in water so it can't be skimmed off surface.

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2andersonathan(669 comments)posted 2 years ago

Well to bad it was not like 17 degrees out last night. None of these clowns have a clue and will follow NOBAMA off a cliff all. Saying we are doing it for you.

It is more than the pipeline which would be good for Americans. It is the simple fact a country needs some one proven not a community organizer with good communication skills.

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3AtownAugie(701 comments)posted 2 years ago

Did the camping Dems have S'mores? They should, since they've given the country s'more unemployment, s'more debt, s'more lack of hope for young people. And what will we get if we vote for them? S'more of the same.

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4ytown53(5 comments)posted 2 years ago

They kind of remind me of the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd

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5DOLE2(594 comments)posted 2 years ago

Get used to sleeping in the streets comrades!

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6redeye1(4564 comments)posted 2 years ago

. I'll bet once all the media went away , so did they. Then they sneaked back in this morning. That is how they run OUR Gov't with smoke and mirrors. Did anyone really stay and watch them?

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7mrblue(1000 comments)posted 2 years ago

Say and do what you want, but it still comes down to the lesser of two evils. Sad to say, but true.

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8howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 2 years ago

So I guess camping out is a valid form of "free speech".
Now that the Democratic Party has done it and the local police/sheriff didn't come and take their tents away the OWS and Occupy Youngstown tents should go back up.

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9dmacker(287 comments)posted 2 years ago

I don't understand.
The very same people who don't mind showing photo ID when cashing a check, claim discrimination when asked to show it at the polls.
I'm required to show photo ID several times a day.
How do those who claim no ID get by?
I'm still confused.

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10FormerYtowner(96 comments)posted 2 years ago

If the headline had said "Republicans sleep out’ at elections board to usher in early voting".....would all of you knuckle dragging, ass clown rethuglicans be pitching such a fit?

No? Didn't think so.

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11grazor50(60 comments)posted 2 years ago

Of course you don't see REPUBLICANS at this all nighter,
we all have to WORK! This is the point that needs to be put across and understood, the working man is tired of carrying those that feel they have nothing better to do than spend a camp out day for something that can be accomplished during normal hours for the next month. GET A JOB!
This includes our congressional representatives that started this,. If they were doing their jobs of fixing our governmental problems instead of brainstorming ideas that caused getting eaten by mosquitoes, maybe this country would be in a better situation than it is!

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12peacelover(790 comments)posted 2 years ago

Let them make their stupid jokes. We'll see who has the last laugh in November.

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13redeye1(4564 comments)posted 2 years ago

vinytalk As one poster stated We ( GOPer's ) were working. not waiting on our next hand out . Let's face it , the D party politicians don't do to much work either, except to run their mouths. But that's all they have to do to satisfy people (weak minded) like you. Why don't you get a spine.and think for your self.

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14AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 2 years ago

Repubs are Funny. You are mocking Dems, and turning around doing the exact same thing.

Mahoning County’s is at the Youngstown Victory Center, 621 Boardman Canfield Road, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

""Maloney said Mahoning County Republican Party Chairman Mark Munroe will be there to explain the importance of early voting.""

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15Klink(36 comments)posted 2 years ago

This country has gone well over 200 years without requiring an ID to vote. I’m confused as to why it is now so important.

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16mav541(6 comments)posted 2 years ago

Tammany Hall will be passing out bread and hot soup! They will also have the dead rabbits making sure you vote often.....

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17Politico(28 comments)posted 2 years ago

Early voting is NOT important. Those numbskulls that voted today or in some places even earlier obviously are closed minded and no matter what comes up in the debates, or if something significant happens that would change their mind, it's too late. Early voting is major stupid and should not happen before the debates are over at the earliest.

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18IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years ago

The Neo-cons wanted the illegals here to break the unions and drive down wages. The dems want them because they vote 70% democratic and they reproduce like cock-roaches. The latinos are a bigger minority than the african-americans who also vote democratic. Mitt-flopper alienated women on social issues and he lost the independent voters with his 47% comment. Mitt's a LOSER!!

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19Ret(39 comments)posted 2 years ago

The Neo-cons wanted the illegals here to break the unions and drive down wages. The dems want them because they vote 70% democratic and they reproduce like cock-roaches.

"Reproduce like cock-roaches " Okay who are the haters here again.

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20southsidedave(4784 comments)posted 2 years ago

Must be really important to keep their government benefits to camp out overnight.

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21dawn421(265 comments)posted 2 years ago

so what grazor50 is saying is that only republicans work? and ssdave, not all dems are on government dime ok? you people kill me with your ignorant opinions of anyone that might be less fortunate than you

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