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Last ditch effort by politicians to get the word out

November 3, 2012
By Sharon Bopp ( , The Marietta Times

As presidential, state, county and local candidates make their final push before Election Day Tuesday, the economy, unemployment, the weather and more weigh on the minds of voters-and campaigners.

With 72 campaigning hours lost because of the angry tear Hurricane Sandy made across the mid-Atlantic states, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have seemingly gone into scramble mode to complete their final politicking.

Obama is scheduled to make campaign stops in Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New Hampshire in the coming days.

Sharon Farnsworth of Marietta, who volunteers at the Democratic Campaign Headquarters in Marietta, has four long days ahead of her-as she helps Obama get out the vote in Washington County at door to door canvassing events over the weekend.

In the days leading to the election, Farnsworth estimated she'll volunteer "at least 48 hours, probably longer."

But that doesn't daunt Farnsworth's passion to see her candidate elected.

Fact Box

Paul Ryan's Visit

Coverage of Paul Ryan's visit to Marietta will be available Saturday afternoon at and in Monday's print edition of The Marietta Times.

At a glance

Early voting in Washington County

The Washington County Board of Elections reported its early voting numbers, as of 3:45 p.m. Friday:

9,376 requests to vote absentee or do early voting.

8,319 ballots received back.

Of the 9,376 requests to vote absentee:

3,960 voted in the courthouse office.

5,169 voted by mail.

91 were hand carried out of the office.

93 were done via nursing homes.

63 were sent electronically to military members in the U.S. or abroad and overseas voters).

Early voting hours at the Board of Elections

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.

Paul Ryan's Visit

Coverage of Paul Ryan's visit to Marietta will be available Saturday afternoon at and in Monday's print edition of The Marietta Times.

"The excitement will build until Tuesday and then we'll be exhausted," she said.

Romney supporters also want their supporters to make their votes count.

"We're pushing every voter out there to vote," said Izzy Santa, Romney campaign spokeswoman. "We need to get our supporters to vote this weekend or Election Day."

A sprint to the election wire in Ohio is indicative of Ohio's importance as a battleground state, Santa added.

"Ohio is a microcosm of the nation. We need Ohio to vote for Romney and Ryan to make sure we win the White House," said Santa.

New Hampshire, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Ohio are the locations for Romney's final pre-election campaign blitz.

Marietta is playing a role in the final electioneering, with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan scheduled to take part in a rally at Marietta College's Dyson Baudo Recreation Center at 10 a.m. Saturday.

"It's a needed, terrific boost to the energy and morale of volunteers and voters alike," said Leslie Haas, chairwoman of the Washington County Republican Party.

The Republican Party sends presidential or vice presidential candidates to this area election after election, she added.

According to Haas, the party knows that southeastern Ohio is important to their election prospects.

"There's never been a Republican elected president without coming to the Ohio Valley," she said.

At the state level, incumbent U.S. Senator and Democratic Senate candidate Sherrod Brown will campaign Saturday in Columbus, Newark and Mansfield.

"We haven't made final decisions on where he will be in the next three days," said Sadie Weiner, Brown's campaign press secretary.

Josh Mandel, Ohio State treasurer and candidate for U.S. Senate, is scheduled to attend Saturday's rally with Ryan.

He will travel to western Ohio later in the day to do a bus tour with House Speaker John Boehner to boost GOP turnout.

On Sunday, Mandel will attend Romney's rally at the I-X Center in Cleveland.

Mandel's schedule for Monday has not yet been set.

"He will probably visit small business owners and some victory centers to help get-out-the-vote efforts," said Travis Considine, Mandel's campaign communications director.

As their campaigns wind down, both Mandel and Brown are focused on the importance of jobs in Ohio.

"Josh's focus three days before the election is going to be the same focus that it has been for the past eight months-that is job creation by reforming the tax code, easing the regulatory burden on small businesses and manufacturers, and energy production here in Ohio," Considine said.

Brown also remains focused "on the same issues that he's been working on to this point, day in and day out, and that he will continue to work on after the election," said Weiner.

"It's protecting jobs and growing jobs in Ohio including manufacturing jobs, getting the House to pass his bill that gets tough on China for cheating on their currency and protecting Social Security and Medicare," she added.

Ohio Senator Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, is scrambling to make a final effort to reach out to voters.

"We're moving at a very fast pace, covering as much ground as we can between now and Tuesday," he said.

On Election Day, Gentile will be in Washington County.

Noting his record as an effective legislator, Gentile pointed to his success in amending an Ohio energy bill to "promote the use of Ohio's skilled workforce in the oil and gas industry," as well as promoting small Ohio businesses that provide goods and services for the industry.

"I'm also passionate and concerned about education," he added. "I want to see our part of Ohio get its fair share of school funding."

Gentile's opponent, Shane Thompson, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Over the weekend in Washington County, local candidates and teams of county Republican volunteers will be manning phone banks, shaking hands and knocking on doors, said Haas.

Washington County Democratic Party Chairwoman Molly Varner said candidates and volunteers this weekend will be making "quite a bit of get-out-the-vote effort in the county." As the party's faithful go door to door they will have a handout with the slate of Democratic candidates, she added.

"We hope we can make some impressions about the rest of the Democratic candidates with local government efforts," Varner said.

Early voting continues at the Washington County Courthouse through Monday.

As of 3:45 p.m. Friday, the Washington County Board of Elections had received 9,376 requests to vote absentee or do early voting, according to Tara Hupp, board director.

The board had received back 8,319 ballots, she added.

Of the 9,376 requests to vote absentee, 3,960 voted in the courthouse office, 5,169 voted by mail; 91 were hand carried out of the office; 93 were done via nursing homes; and 63 were sent electronically to military members in the U.S. or abroad and overseas voters, according to Hupp.

Courthouse voting hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.

Election Day weather looks promising locally. Tuesday forecast is for a high of 54, with partly cloudy skies and a 20 percent chance of precipitation.



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