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A Real Yawner
May 6, 2009 - Joe Gorman
It was hard to stay awake covering Tuesday's primary election.
Compounding the drowsiness was the fact that there was practically no activity at the Mahoning County Board of Elections, my customary roost for elections since 2000.
It was strange to see workers reading books and being able to hear phones ring. Additionally, the normal heavily armed contingent of Youngstown cops and MCSO deputies who are on hand to fend off an attack from an Al Queda splinter group hellbent on destroying American democracy was also reduced to only four -- that's right, FOUR.
As always, however, things ran smoothly at the board, where a final count was ready by 9:15 p.m. -- just a half hour earlier than normal. Talk among the thinned out media contingent was on whether or not Jay Williams would win 90 percent of the vote -- he came up just short -- if the Browns had a successful draft and what is the worst side of town to be in after the sun goes down (my pick was the East Side).
It was nice being done early, but unlike most reporters, I do not dread Election Night. To me, it is like covering a high school football game, which I did for several years back when I was doing sports: You get all your background and page layouts done early so when you get back from the game, you can concentrate on the story itself and nothing else.
Although there are variations to that game plan, that, by and large, is the best way to cover an election. And like a good football game, an exciting election will get the adrealine pumping.
But that was not the case Tuesday. The lack of candidates, participation and engaging issues could not dress up what I have termed the Most Boring Election of Our Time.
Until this fall, that is. But at least it'll be football season. Maybe then I'll have a grade for the Browns draft.
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