Ohio

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.

It is widely believed that, in 2004, George W. Bush won a second term in the White House because Ohio had a constitutional amendment on the ballot banning same-sex marriage.

The electoral college contest between Bush and Democrat John Kerry, came down to Ohio. Ohio’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage brought out evangelical Christian voters in droves – the so-called “values voters.”

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
State of Ohio

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says that with the help of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections, his office has virtually eliminated duplicate registrations from the state’s voter registration data base.

In a release Tuesday, Husted said there were more than 340,000 duplicate registrations when he took office in Jan. 2011. Today, he said, out of about 7.7 million registered voters, there are only four remaining.

Current Ohio gun law says individuals may defend themselves and their property, but they must retreat if able to do so safely. Stand your ground legislation now in the Ohio house would remove that obligation to retreat.

    Ohio Governor john Kasich wants to expand the state’s Medicaid program, but is getting push-back from conservative Republicans in the General Assembly. Kasich, Ohio Democratic legislators and other proponents of Medicaid expansion say it will save the state money and insure more Ohioans, but opponents claim it will cause Ohio to lose jobs and increase the state’s cost to cover health care.

John J. “Jack” Gilligan, the former Ohio governor who passed away Monday at age 92, was many things in his long life.

An unabashed, unapologetic liberal, seemingly oblivious to whether or not it cost or gained him votes.

A war hero, earning the Silver Star while serving on board a destroyer during the battle of Okinawa.

A young man who came home from the war, worked in the family funeral business, and went on to teach literature at Xavier University before launching his career in politics.  

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
State of Ohio

Round one in the battle took place in November 2004, when 62 percent of Ohioans voted in favor of a constitutional ban.


Round two could be right around the corner, possibly in November 2014, if FreedomOhio, a pro-gay marriage group, succeeds in getting a new constitutional amendment on the ballot.


FreedomOhio had a good week.

The 2014 slate of Democratic candidates for Ohio’s statewide offices is not exactly set in stone, but it is getting pretty close.


Why so early, you ask?


Well, when you have been beaten like a rented mule in the 2010 statewide elections, as the Ohio Democratic Party was, there is no such thing as being too early out of the gate.

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