Ohio

Michael Keating

Taxpayers will pick up the tab for an $8 million study of the impact of a reconstructed Brent Spence bridge on traffic, noise and the effect tolls will have on minorities and low-income persons.

The Ohio Controlling Board released the money Monday at the request of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)

ODOT spokesman Brian Cunningham said the state of Ohio is in the process of working out a “memorandum of understanding” with the state of Kentucky. Once that is finished, Cunningham said, Kentucky will reimburse Ohio for half of the $8 million.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald trails incumbent Republican John Kasich by 12 percentage points and is still not well known to about two-third of Ohio voters, according to an independent poll released this morning.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which polls voters in key states, has Kasich with 48 percent to FitzGerald’s 36 percent.

In May, Kasich led FitzGerald by 15 percentage points in the last Quinnipiac Poll.

There will be no hot-button ballot issues to draw Ohio voters to the polls this November. WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about it.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked this morning with Jay Hanselman about the odd nature of judicial elections in Ohio.

Candidates for judgeships in Ohio are in a unique and somewhat odd position.

They run in primary elections as Democrats or Republicans. But, when the general election rolls around, their names appear on the ballot without party designation.

So, unless you are a person who pays close attention to politics or somebody – usually the judicial candidate’s political party – tells you whether or not he or she is a Democrat or a Republican, you may go to the polls totally in the dark about which is which.

And the judicial races are usually stuck at the bottom of the ballot.

It is primary election day in Ohio, and although county election officials expect a relatively low turnout, there are dozens of contested candidates races and ballot issues for voters to decide.

The polls in Ohio are open until 7:30 p.m.

You can follow the results from Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties through links at wvxu.org.

And I’ll be live-tweeting and updating the website throughout the night. Follow me on Twitter: @howardwilkinson.

As of Thursday, early absentee ballots cast in Hamilton County in the May 6 primary were down 80 percent from what they were four years ago.

Democrats say this is explained by the fact that, unlike the May 2010 primary, every voter in the county was not mailed an absentee ballot application by the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Republicans say it is simply a matter of no big candidate race or ballot issue driving early voters to get their ballots and mail them in – that this is, in fact, a ho-hum election.

The numbers are really striking.

Today is the last day to register to vote in Ohio's May 6 primary election.

By order of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, all of Ohio's 88 county boards of elections will be open until 9.p.m. today to accommodate those registering and for in-person early voting.

For links to more information and to all of Ohio's 88 county boards of elections, you can go to MyOhioVote.com. You can also update your voter registration information, such as a change of address, at that website.

By an eight-to-one margin, Ohio voters support the use of medical marijuana, while support for same sex marriage has reached 50 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.

The poll by the Connecticut-based polling institute, which regularly polls voters in key states, said that 51 percent of Ohio voters said adults should be allowed to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, while 44 percent were opposed.

Monday night at the Medina Performing Arts Center, in front of the Ohio General Assembly, Ohio Gov. John Kasich will deliver his fourth State of the State address.

He is sincerely hoping it won’t be his last.

Unlike his previous State of the State messages, which Kasich has taken out of the Statehouse in Columbus and turned them into a traveling road show, this one will be in his re-election year.

This will be the year when the Republican governor, will be running for re-election to a second term.

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