There are no barriers to voting

There are no barriers to voting

Voting has never been eas- ier in Ohio. Residents have the opportunity to cast a ballot by absentee for a period of 35 days, and for 23 days (with extended board of elections hours), they can vote absentee in person — no fault, no excuses. There is also the opportunity to vote on Election Day itself. To save the voters the trouble, Secretary of State Husted is even mailing out absentee applications to every voter registered by the Oct. 9 registration deadline.

A reasonable person would say Ohioans are afforded every opportunity to vote over one month in advance, and yet that still does not seem to be enough time for state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, the Ohio Democratic Party, and its co-plaintiff Obama for America. They have trumped up a ridiculous claim that voters are being disenfranchised by having the polls closed the weekend before Election Day, despite having full ability and knowledge to vote an entire month in advance with an absentee application sent directly to their place of residence.

To sum up the ODP and Obama for America’s case, they made the argument before Judge Economus (who they shopped for, by the way) that because military personnel are afforded the opportunity to vote three days preceding an election (UOCAVA), the general population ought to be able to as well. The problem with that is for military personnel, there is a legitimate need for this, from circumstances arising from military activity that would require our armed service members to cast a ballot within that three-day period. Specifically, UOCAVA refers to uniformed and overseas citizens, and for those serving overseas, this is a particularly important issue as circumstances can and do arise that would require military voters to cast a ballot the weekend before an election.

For the general population, there is no legitimate need to be found. The way Obama for America and Joe Schiavoni make it sound, the only time in the entire month of October and early November 93,000 people could vote was the Sunday before Election Day. The reality is every registered voter has received an absentee ballot application in the mail well in advance, and every registered voter has the same opportunity for a month’s time to vote by mail or in person prior to the Friday deadline.

Alex Mangie CPA, Canfield

The president’s clear message

After an enthusiastic con- vention that fired up our supporters and demonstrated the choice in this election, President Obama did what Mitt Romney failed to do: honestly and clearly set out his vision and plan to move America forward and restore the promise of middle-class security for all Americans. President Obama clearly laid out his plan that will create jobs, expand opportunity and ensure an economy built to last — one that’s built from the middle out, not the top down.

On every issue, including jobs, this election is a choice between two fundamentally different visions for our future. We need to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known — the promise that hard work will pay off, responsibility will be rewarded, and that everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share and plays by the same rules. Romney would undermine our economic recovery by slashing investments in education, research and clean energy, incentivizing companies to ship jobs overseas and raising taxes on middle-class families and small businesses.

The American people face the clearest choice in a generation. On every issue — jobs, the economy, taxes, deficits, energy, education, war and peace — this isn’t just a choice between two candidates or two parties. It’s a choice between two fundamentally different visions for our country’s future.

Cristi Cardena, Canfield

Where once there were trees ...

The drive south on I-680 to- wards the Poland-Boardman exit is aesthetically enhanced by a continuous corridor of trees along both sides of the road. However, recently the owners of the “big box” store shopping area along the west side of I-680 near the exit found fit to cut the trees exposing a rusted chain-link fence, truck and auto parking areas, large rectangular brick buildings and of course large signs advertising the stores in the shopping area.

This narrow strip of trees was aesthetically pleasing, reduced noise levels, provided habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife and abated runoff from the steep slopes of the roadway. The drive is now a little less pleasant, a little more stressful, the region has fewer songbirds and the flooding in the Poland Municipal Forest is a little more severe.

Perhaps a few more shoppers will visit the shopping area to the benefit of the shop owners, but the cost of cutting the forest along I-680 is imposed on all who drive on the roadway. This anecdote is an example of the insensitivity corporate business has for non-economic values. It supports the argument that government intervention and regulation are necessary to preserve the non-economic aspects of community that are essential for maximizing quality of life and preserving the integrity of our environment.

Lauren Schroeder, Poland

North Jackson is the place to be for families and for businesses

North Jackson is one of Ma- honing County’s best kept secrets. It is a rural community that has celebrated its bicentennial. It is rural in nature but very progressive. Numerous articles in The Vindicator concerning North Jackson are indicating that major changes have been taking place. Progressive and innovative leadership has greatly impacted the community.

At the very top of the list is The Jackson-Milton School District, which has been ranked No. 1 from the state of Ohio of all the schools in Mahoning County. It was awarded “Excellent With Distinction Award” beating out other previously top ranked school districts. Jackson-Milton has completed the new state-of-the-art high school in 2011. Also under construction is the new regional library on the school property.

Property values have dramatically plunged nationwide and in Mahoning County, while the Jackson-Milton district values have actually increased 3.4 percent.

Adding to the prosperity of North Jackson is the General Motors Lordstown manufacturing plant located two miles north of the township. The GM plant received the contract to produce the diesel Chevy Cruze and the new future designed Cruze.

Unemployment is very low in our community. Our business directory lists 166 businesses located in North Jackson. When considering the work force in North Jackson and within two-and-a-half miles of the township there are approximately 10,000 workers. More and more businesses have located in North Jackson. To name a few of them: the high steel plant, Universal Stainless and Alloy Products Inc., with a possibility of hundreds of new jobs; the nationally known trucking company, Falcon Trucking; Fed-Ex; Mom’s Meals, which is a distributor of packaged foods, along with many others.

Forbes Magazine recently rated the Youngstown suburbs, which includes North Jackson Township, in the top 100 cities to raise a family.

North Jackson, located in the Mahoning Valley is in the oil- and gas-rich land that contains Marcellis and Utica shale levels. Chesapeake, BP, Shell Oil, and others are investing well over $1 billion which will bring added prosperity.

North Jackson is truly a community on the move for the 21st century.

Dennis Orr, North Jackson