Jon Husted

WCPO

Without a complaint or a lawsuit being filed, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott ordered polling places in Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties to stay open until 8:30.

Colerain Township

Colerain Township Trustee Dennis Deters can use the middle name “Joseph” on the ballot when he runs for Hamilton County Commissioner this year, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted ruled Wednesday.

Husted broke a tie vote taken at the Dec. 21 meeting of the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Elections can be messy things.

And, by elections, we don’t mean campaigns – those are worse than messy; they are legalized madness. What we mean is the actual organizing of an election,  the running of polling places and the process of counting the votes.

Local boards of elections, for the most part, do a superb job of pulling them off.

But we have been covering politics and elections for over 40 years; and can’t remember a single one where something didn’t go wrong on Election Day – either by human error or technology failure or both.

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.

Ohio’s director of elections has told Hamilton County Democratic chairman Tim Burke that a voter information poster Burke objects to must be posted in all polling places.

Burke, who is also chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, wrote an e-mail to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted asking if the board was required to put up the two-foot by three-post with Husted’s name in large letters at the bottom.

Husted is a candidate for re-election; and Burke told WVXU he believed it amounts to electioneering inside polling places, which is not allowed.

Howard Wilkinson

Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke believes a voter information poster for polling places sent out by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is a form of electioneering.

The Republican Husted is a candidate for re-election.

The secretary of state's office sent two posters to Ohio's eighty-eight boards of elections, asking them to be placed in polling places.

One is an 11 by 17 inch poster encouraging voting that shows the work of a fifth grade student who won a statewide poster contest sponsored by Husted.

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.

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 debate over voting rights in Ohio rages on, unabated.  

Democrats argue that the Republicans in the legislature and the Republican secretary of state, Jon Husted, have done everything in their power to make it difficult for Democrats – particularly African-American voters – to cast a ballot.

Husted and the Republicans argue that you would be hard-pressed to find a state that gives its people more opportunities to cast a ballot, with its 28-day early voting period for both mail-in absentee ballots and early in-person voting at the state’s 88 county boards of elections.

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