Howard Wilkinson: Politics and More

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his political blog, his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with news director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 14 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time. 

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has apologized for openly campaigning for the Cincinnati Parks levy inside a polling place on election day.

And the two leaders of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, one Democrat and one Republican, say they are satisfied with his apology.

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

The Hamilton County Board of Elections spent two-and-a-half hours Tuesday morning delving into an investigation of last week’s election, which was plagued with problems caused by a new electronic poll book system.

One thing the board learned was this – the company that sold that sold it the $1.4 million system, Tenex, was willing to take the blame for the technical snafus.

  WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the problems Hamilton County had with its new electronic polling system last Tuesday night; and how they plan to fix it. 

Tuesday, over 198,000 Hamilton County voters checked in at their polling places and were processed with the brand-new electronic poll books and had absolutely no problems whatsoever.

They checked in; they voted; they went home with a “I voted” sticker for their lapels and shirt pockets.

But for a relative handful of voters – no one is quite sure yet how many, but board of elections officials call it a “significant number” – the new system caused a major headache and that ended up with several thousand more voters than usual casting provisional ballots; and, perhaps, disenfranchised some – probably because they got fed up with waiting and left the polling places.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Update 11/7:

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted told the Hamilton County Board of Elections Friday he wants a review of the county's problems with electronic poll books completed by Dec. 11. 

Board members have already launched their investigation into what went wrong Tuesday, when poll worker confusion and technical problems with the new e-poll books caused a judge to extend voting hours to 9 p.m. 

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Wednesday morning about Tuesday's election results in the Tristate - including the massive defeat if Issue 3, which would have legalized marijuana in Ohio; Issue 22; the Cincinnati Parks levy rejected soundly by city voters, and Matt Bevin's somewhat surprising win over Jack Conway in the Kentucky governor's race. 


Yesterday the voters had their say, rejecting legalized marijuana in Ohio and the park levy in Cincinnati, and electing a Republican as governor of Kentucky.  Join us for a look at Tuesday’s election results.

Ann Thompson

A controversial one mill levy for city parks that would have become a permanent part of Cincinnati’s city charter appeared headed for a resounding defeat Tuesday night.

In Tuesday night's unofficial vote count, the “no” vote on Issue 22 was 59 percent, with only 41 percent voting “yes.”

WVXU / via Wikimedia Commons

Ohio voters Tuesday soundly rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have legalized marijuana in Ohio and opened the door to a multi-million dollar industry growing and selling the plant.

With 97 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, 64 percent of Ohio voters were saying no to the plan, while 36 percent were saying they supported it.


Two Republicans who were appointed to vacant Hamilton County Municipal Court judgeships were elected to fill out the terms Tuesday.

With 100 percent of the vote counted in the 4th Municipal Court district, Judge Curt Kissinger rolled over Democrat Shane Herzner. Kissinger took 72 percent of the unofficial vote, while Herzner had 28  percent.