2014 election

One hundred and four poll workers were let go by the Hamilton County Board of Elections Tuesday because they hadn't voted since the 2012 election.

They were all working polling places during the 2013 and 2014 elections, but did not cast ballots themselves, according to the board staff.

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune had a really bad experience with the Ohio Democratic Party early this year – especially with state party chairman Chris Redfern.

Last December, Portune – the only Democrat on the county commission – started crisscrossing the state in an attempt to build support to run for Ohio governor.

The problem was that Portune started too late – Ed FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive – had been campaigning since early in 2013; and had already wrapped up the party establishment and the endorsement of the state party.

Republicans were dancing on their desks Tuesday night. Democrats’ chins were dragging on the floor. But before we shut the door on the 2014 election, here are some final thoughts on what happened Tuesday, especially here in southwest Ohio.

Thomas/Winburn:

Conventional wisdom had the 9th Ohio Senate District race between former Cincinnati council member Cecil Thomas and current council member Charlie Winburn going down to the wire.

But, in the end, Thomas crushed Winburn, knocking him flatter than a pancake with 57 percent of the vote.

  

WVXU politics reporter talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about Tuesday's election - one which saw the Republicans sweep all of Ohio's statewide offices, as they did four years ago.

Seal of Hamilton County
Provided / Hamilton County

The makeup of the Hamilton County Commission won't change after Tuesday’s elections.  When County Commission President Chris Monzel voted to separate Music Hall from the “Save Our Icons” proposal, some voters were incensed, and took a renewed interest in his re-election campaign.  His official Democratic challenger was Sean Patrick Feeney, a relative unknown to local politics.  Feeney refused to step aside for a more well-known name: former Vice Mayor Jim Tarbell.  Tarbell mounted his own write-in campaign.  But in the end, it didn't matter.  Tarbell pulled in only about 3.5% of the vote, w

Jon Hughes/photopresse

Beverly Haskins was determined to do her part when casting her ballot at the Westwood United Methodist Church Tuesday. She said, "After the recent issues with Tracie Hunter, as a voter, I just want to make sure, I can do what I can so it doesn't happen again."

Voters say they studied up

There was a steady stream of traffic in and out of Westwood United Methodist. Voter Steve Sheblessy was determined to be informed in what was a lengthy ballot. He said, "You've got to do your homework to get the things passed that you need to get in and get done."

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about prospects for voter turnout Tuesday and the races to watch.

Ohio voters may be about to make history.

But not the kind of history you’ll want to brag about.

It looks increasing likely that, on Tuesday, Ohio will have the lowest turnout in a gubernatorial election since the Ohio secretary of state began tracking voter turnout in 1978.

And, at least in Northern Kentucky, the turnout may be pretty low too – even with one of the noisiest, most expensive and most important U.S. Senate races in the country, pitting Republican Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell against Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

About Campbell County:

Campbell is the easternmost of the three Northern Kentucky counties that border the Ohio River at Cincinnati. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the 2013 population at nearly 91,000. There are 15 cities in the county; and it also includes substantial amounts of rural areas and farm land. According to the 2010 Census, the median household income from 2008 to 2012 was $53,580, compared to the statewide average of $42,610.

Ken Rudin (The Political Junkie) and Neal Conan (former host of Talk of the Nation) will talk all things politics with you and special guests, plus trivia, the Scuttle Button quiz, and more on Friday, November 21 at Cincinnati’s Masonic Center (next to the Taft Theater) at 7:30 pm.

Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Tickets will be available at the door the night of the show for $25.

Live Election Night Coverage

Oct 28, 2014

Beginning at 10 pm, Statehouse News Bureau Correspondent Karen Kassler and WOSU's Mike Thompson will be providing live election night coverage from Columbus. Reporters Jo Ingles will be reporting live from the Ohio Democratic Party’s headquarters and Andy Chow from the Ohio Republican Party’s headquarters.

Alright, it’s settled now.

The two voter information posters from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted – a candidate for re-election – which display his name prominently featured will be posted in Ohio’s polling places.

28th Ohio House District

Sarah Ramsey

9th Ohio Senate District:

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about voter turnout in Ohio and Kentucky; and about Jim Tarbell's write-in campaign for Hamilton County commissioner.

Early last Tuesday morning – the first day of early in-person voting at Ohio’s boards of elections – we stopped by the Hamilton County Board of Elections downtown fully expecting to see a line of voters eager to cast the first ballots in the 2014 election.

In past years – particularly gubernatorial and presidential elections – there have been long lines outside the board’s offices on Broadway, sometimes stretching around the block. Sometimes, people would camp out overnight on the sidewalk to be first in line.

Not this time.

Registered Ohio voters can begin in-person early voting at their county boards of elections beginning 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Ohio is back to the hours set earlier by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, with 28 days to vote by absentee ballot or in-person at the boards of elections.

Early voting might have started on Sept. 30, but the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 29 granted an emergency plea from state officials to block a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling expanding early voting days and times.

Every sign points to a blow-out in the Ohio governor’s race, with Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald going down to a massive defeat at the hands of Republican incumbent John Kasich.

You never know what might happen to turn that around, but the polls show it coming – a Quinnipiac University poll of likely Ohio voters last week had FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, down by 22 percentage point with about five weeks left.

Even worse, one in four Democratic voters polled by Quinnipiac said they plan to vote for Kasich.

With less than five weeks to go before election day, the Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, Ed FitzGerald, trails Republican incumbent John Kasich by 22 percentage points, according to an independent poll released Wednesday.

Perhaps the worst news in Quinnipiac University’s poll of likely Ohio voters is that one out of four Democrats surveyed said they would vote for the Republican Kasich.

For the first time since 1978, Ohioans will vote for governor without having a chance to hear the two major party candidates go head-to-head in a debate.

That’s nine gubernatorial election cycles ago, folks.

Ohio’s 35 day period of early voting – beginning next Tuesday - will remain in effect after a three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the state of Ohio’s appeal Wednesday.

But Secretary of State Jon Husted said Wednesday he will ask the full 15-member federal appeals court to hear the state’s appeal of the decision. Time is running out for that, though, with early voting set to start in five days.

It is not yet clear whether the full appeals court will agree to hear the state’s appeal.

Howard Wilkinson

Trailing in the polls and the contest for campaign dollars, Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald brought most of the statewide Democratic ticket with him Tuesday morning for a rally in Cincinnati's Washington Park, one of the last stops on a eight-city bus tour of the state.

There were about 75 supporters who showed up for the morning event, but FitzGerald sees the “Tour to Restore Ohio” as a way of making up for the lack of financial resources and drumming up enthusiasm among the Democratic base in Ohio.

A the Hamilton County Board of Elections will hold a telethon-style event Tuesday and again on October 6th so voters can make sure they are up-to-date on their voter registration.

Hamilton County elections director Sherry Poland said the board will staff a phone bank from 5 to 6 p.m. on both days to help voters. Oct. 6 is the last day to register to vote in the November election.

“Voter Check is an opportunity for county residents to contact the board of elections to check up on their voter registration status,’’ Poland said.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked this morning with Maryanne Zeleznik about the legal battle over early voting in Ohio.

Ohio’s “Golden Week” of early voting is back.

So too are the 35 day early voting period and extended evening and weekend hours for in-person early voting.

All thanks to a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus of Cleveland; and a refusal by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to put a stay on Economus’ decision.

Ohio Republicans are furious. Ohio Democrats are jubilant.

But, in the end, does it really matter?

Both sides think so, for different reasons, of course.

The League of Women Voters is sponsoring or co-sponsoring several candidate debates and an issues forum in Hamilton and Clermont counties over the next three weeks.

The public is invited to all the events. They include:

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court:

All candidates for common pleas judgeships have been invited to a voter education event Monday, Sept. 22 at the Cincinnati Bar Association, 5th floor, 225 E. Sixth St., Downtown. The forum runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area (LWVCA).

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the upcoming judicial elections in Hamilton County.

The Hamilton County Democratic Party is getting better these days at something they used to struggle with – recruiting candidates to run for judgeships.

On Nov. 4, we will see if they are getting any better at actually electing them.

This year, there are 13 judgeships for election in Hamilton County –a seat on the Ohio First District Court of Appeals, eight in the general division of Common Pleas Court, and one each in the juvenile, domestic relations, probate and drug court divisions of the Common Pleas Court.

Seven of them are contested races.

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