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There are no barriers to voting

Published: Sun, September 23, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

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


1redeye1(5055 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

godg If the Dumbarse party had their way , we would have to cater to everyone. Oh wait, we are already! If someone really wanted to vote they would find a way on election day.The polls are open 12 hrs that day But you are a typical D party member who thinks they are special. Oh by the way, I'm an Independent!.

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2youngspartanrepublican(92 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Lauren should be paying more attention to the highway rather than the few trees being cut down along 680. If you hate suburbia so much, then move back to the city.

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3saddad(646 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for the reminder Alex. You dont say anything about why it was important to the Republicans to not have the polls open.

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4Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

COST???? . Lets go back to the 50s one day voting and some absentee voting .
Just kidding . But if it all costs the same why do you care . Please give us some reasons.

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5Jerry(606 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

How about the reasons Bob Bennett gave in his guest column for the Cleveland PD:

"..........At some point the realities of early voting must be taken into consideration. Yes, it is important to allow access to the ballot for all voters, but keeping county boards of elections open 24/7 for 35 days isn't a practical solution. Hamilton County alone estimates that hundreds of thousands of additional dollars (which they don't have) will be added to their budget burden if voting hours expand beyond what they are now. Local budgets are already stretched, and voters have made it clear they don't want tax increases, so reasonable standards must be adopted."

"Furthermore, the Ohio Association of Elections Officials asked the legislature this year to close polling locations three days prior to Election Day so that they could be ready for the two-thirds of Ohioans who still choose to vote in the traditional way. Local boards of elections deploy hundreds of voting machines and cumbersome poll books across their respective counties at polling locations that require proper staffing on Election Day. The request to have three days to dedicate to appropriate preparation was made, and granted, based on logical management needs and realistic budgeting -- not the political chicanery unfairly ascribed to it by Democrats. "

"Finally, voting is not being restricted in Ohio. Husted moved to standardize in-person voting hours after Democrats complained that boards of elections in Republican-leaning counties might be open longer than in Democratic strongholds. His directive included instructions to keep polling locations closed for three days prior to Election Day, as was state law. Democrats sued to remove the standardized hours and won. Unless the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the judge's ruling, we're back to the mess we had before where access to the ballot is based on where you live and how much more money your board of elections can afford. Is that what we want to show the world? ........................."


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6Briscoe(14 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

To all the anti-drilling, anti-fracking, and social elitists, don't forget that we still have a Constitution that protects personal property rights. That plaza and the land where the trees were cut down is privately owned. They pay taxes on that land and have the right to do what they want within the law. And seriously...cutting down trees along the highway where storm water management was designed along with the roadway is somehow going to cause "flooding in the Poland Municipal Forest". Sounds like more unsubstantiated fear mongering by the left. If you want to protect more trees, find like minded people, raise capital, and buy land to set up an environmental sanctuary. That's your right, but don't impose your beliefs of 'right and wrong' on other property owners.

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7Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Alex, I would ask you; why restrict voting on the Sunday before election? What harm does it do to allow citizens MORE time to vote? A bit of sensitivity is required of those of you with selective, short, memories; It is not even 75 years ago that black American were subject to the tragedy of Jim Crow. If, in the culture of the black community voting has become a tradition of sorts on the Sunday before elections, so be it, that is small concession for all of the years of blatant voter disenfranchisement.

It is ironic that the United States is nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan and putting in place simple voting systems that are uniform nation-wide and better than we have here. It is also shameful that the Republican Party that has become more "white" while the nation becomes more diversified racially, needs to suppress the vote in order to remain relevant.

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8chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Why not let the electorate vote on-line as many times as they want with the Democrats handing out free computers fianced by Obama stimulus program.

No one is being disenfranchised under the law as it presently stands. The judiciary should stay out of this fight, since it's political objective is clear.

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9saddad(646 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Buddy- the real Chuck Carney had dingle berries that were more man than you.

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10DwightK(1370 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't get the big deal about expanding the voting hours. How can giving people as much time as possible to vote be a bad thing? You can only do it once, it's important and voter participation is already low. Expanding hours and days seemes like a no-brainer.

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11youngspartanrepublican(92 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Also keep in mind that all that development near 224 pays Poland property taxes...Be lucky they are there or your school levies would be twice as large!

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12jojuggie(1607 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Hey gdog - that's a nasty way to spell Republican. What if I spell it democrap.

Let's be reasonable, man.

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13Adams(14 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Gadiva...vote early and often. 2 times no 6 times.... ahhh no 10 times... yea thats the ticket 10 times and remember you don't need an ID to vote.
I guess my question is can someone find the stats that show the % of voters in the days before early voting and the % of voters with early voting. Any major diffiereces? Early voting was designed to get more people to vote. Has it worked?

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14Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Gomez Adams...early voting may not have added as many voters as we hope, but restrictions on voting sure won't help. Make a more rational argument.

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15Adams(14 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

I can't make it any simpler. People’s lives are very different today with workloads, family and responsibilities. Our lives seem to move at a faster pace. Early voting was designed to give people a better opportunity to vote under these circumstances. With this said has it accomplished its goal of bringing out more voters or just made it easier for those who do vote. So based on population has the % of voters increased? Or do we have a much deeper issue of people not having a desire to exercise the right and responsibility we have and that is to vote.
As for restrictions on voting what is wrong with proving who you are? Everything I do in life I have to prove who I am. To board an airplane, to pick up a drivers license, to get a passport, to open a saving or checking account, to buy a certain sinus medicine and the beat goes on…..How do people overcome these restrictions? By proving who they are….and these are much more common everyday things people go through to accomplish what they need to get done. The issue is not restricting voting the issue is getting people to vote!

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