YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Mahoning County's Democratic Party is rolling-out the "Obama Express."
On Election Day, the 15-seat passenger van will be one of a fleet of vehicles used to drive voters to polling locations.
Until then, it will be a mobile voter registration station. And then beginning October 2nd through November 5th the "Obama Express" will transport people who want to vote early to the Mahoning County Board of Elections (for a ride call 330-503-5085).
Attorney David Betras, Chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party, said, "I've learned that some of the problems in the urban precincts in the cities was a transportation problem. People just couldn't get a ride to the board of elections to vote. So we've solved that problem now. We're going to make sure that everyone who wants to vote can vote. We're going to give them a ride to the polls."
Mahoning County's Republican Party agrees that every vote is critical in this presidential election and they have their own strategy in place to get people to the polls.
Republican Party Chairman Mark Munroe said, "We're making hundreds of phone calls a day from our headquarters. We're going door to door, voter surveys. We've got a huge get out the vote operation that's going to start in a couple of weeks leading up to Election Day."
Republicans believe undecided voters will lean towards a change in Mitt Romney and argue that the enthusiasm President Obama experienced in 2008 isn't there this election, and they say that includes African-American voters.
"The folks in the black community simply don't have a strong propensity for getting out and voting. And I suspect we're going to see that again this year. Again, because the enthusiasm is not what it was back in 2008. The novelty has worn off, and people are looking at their pocket books," Munroe said.
But Democrats argue that's simply not true because they say President Obama has delivered on his promises that include saving 4,500 jobs at GM Lordstown, creating employment opportunities at V&M, and throughout the Mahoning Valley.
State Representative Bob Hagan says, "We actually have more registered Democrats not only in the Mahoning Valley, but in the state of Ohio and in the United States. We just need to get them out."
Democrats encourage Mahoning County residents to contact the "Obama Express" for transportation to the polls. While Republicans say they'll begin their Romney/Ryan sign distribution in the Valley this weekend.