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This year, the political battle for Ohio voters is fiercer than ever. With a tight U.S. Senate race and mere percentage points separating the candidates for President, WKSU reporters are busy covering the story behind the stories to bring you the best information and help you make educated decisions in the November elections.



Support for WKSU Election Coverage provided by:

State and Federal Communications

Kent State University

President Obama stresses unity and equality in his inaugural speech
Obama's speech is a call to action on the economy and ending gridlock

President Obama says "America's possibilities are endless," and spoke of the need for the nation to act collectively in the tradition of President Lincoln and others of his predecessors. He also spoke of gay rights in the context of other civil rights movements, and Obama's second inaugural address struck a more optimistic note than he did during his first address four years ago. 

Here is the text of President Obama's second inaugural speech as prepared for delivery today.
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Percentage of Ohio voters turning out in 2012 topped 2008
And more were using the mail

More people voted early by absentee ballot in last fall’s presidential election than ever have before in Ohio. Secretary of State Jon Husted said more than 1.86 million absentee ballots were counted in the November election, 120,000 more than were cast in 2008. Husted says two-thirds of last fall’s absentee ballots were being mailed in, and 600,000 were cast in person.
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Year in review: Ohio's mega Senate race
Brown vs. Mandel: a match of money and scathing critiques

It was the most expensive and bitter campaign for U.S. Senate in Ohio history – and it featured two starkly different candidates. In our continuing review of 2012, Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler examines the race between Sherrod Brown and Josh Mandel.
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Year in review: Ohio lawmakers tackle slavery, exotic animals, public retirement
Depite party divides, bills passed with bipartisan support -- and some powerful motivators

This year was a busy one for Ohio legislators. They debated hundreds of proposals for new laws, and they passed dozens. This morning, our statehouse news bureau looks at some of the major bills that have become law. Here’s Bill Cohen:
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Year in review: Democrats were the big -- but not only -- losers in the Statehouse
Ohio laws that never saw light include the governor's severance tax and regulation of internet cafes

Just because a state legislator or governor introduces a bill doesn’t mean it becomes law. And 2012 saw many examples of that in the Ohio General Assembly. Our statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports on some major proposals that never made it out of the proposal stage.
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Drones, cliffs and astronauts: Kucinich wraps things up on the House floor
Ohio's outgoing congressional maverick and his final floor speeches

In his last hours on the floor of Congress, Cleveland Rep. Dennis Kucinich took on big money, two parties and drone strikes. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.
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Year in review: Ohio House leaders reflect on 2012
Lawmakers passed bills on texting while driving, human trafficking, pension reform and pill mills, left redistricting and severance tax on the table

2012 wasn’t supposed to be a busy year in the Ohio House. All 99 seats were on the ballot, and the budget had passed in 2011. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, this year was a lot bigger than many expected.
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Democratic challenger battles on for 98th House district seat
Republican incumbent Al Landis narrowly declared winner in recount vote yesterday, but challenger Josh O'Farrell says he wants more provisional ballots counted.

Democrats and Republicans are still battling over the November election results for a state House seat that represents Tuscarawas and most of Holmes county. The official recount Thursday declared Republican incumbent Al Landis the winner. But only eight votes separate him from his Democratic challenger, Josh O’Farrell. O’Farrell says the margin grew narrower after most absentee and provisional ballots were counted, and he thinks more provisional ballots deserved to be counted.
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Ohio House race to announce winner by Friday
Husted issues tiebreaker at Tuscarawas Board of Elections.

More than five weeks after the November election, Ohio’s only undecided race could have a winner by Friday evening. Republican incumbent Al Landis holds a 14-vote lead over his Democratic challenger, Josh O’Farrell, in the 98th Ohio House district in Tuscarawas County But county board members have been arguing along party lines on whether a recount is necessary and how it should be conducted. Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, broke the deadlock Wednesday by siding with Democratic members of the board and forcing a recount.  The decision also requires election officials to review the eligibility of provisional ballots using existing standards.  Democrats had argued the criteria for rejecting provisional ballots was too strict. Husted says the board needs to declare a winner no later than 4pm Friday.  
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The PolitiFact effect plays big in Ohio
Taking a closer look at the long-term effect of fact-checking on politics, government and journalism

Election Day was a month ago. But one aspect of the 2012 campaign continues to play a role as the president and Congress have moved on to the battle over taxes and spending. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on the longer-term effect of fact-checking on politics, government and journalism.
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Ohio's Sens. Brown and Portman stake different paths away from the cliff
Where would cuts come the biggies of Medicare and Social Security?

Ohio’s two U.S. senators continue to see things as differently as their parties when it comes to tackling big problems with the nation’s finances.  WKSU’s M.L. Schultze interviewed Democrat Sherrod Brown and Kabir Bhatia then sat in on a conference call with Republican Rob Portman about what needs to be done to steer the nation away from the fiscal cliff.
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Today, Ohio's vote will finally be official
Eighty-eight county boards of elections are doing their final tallies, and three state House district hang in the balance

County boards of elections must complete their Nov. 6 vote counts by today. And, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, controversies over those counts continue.
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Ohio's 2012 election still isn't over
A tight margin means an automatic recount in at least one State House race

At least one Statehouse race is heading for an automatic recount. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on an outcome separated by just 14 of nearly 47,000 votes cast.
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Ohio math myth stands behind presidential recount demand
A petition insists vote fraud swung the election president Obama's way; but Politifact says "Pants on Fire"

The second most-popular petition on the White House’s “We the People” website is one demanding a recount in the presidential election. And it’s based on a fallacy tied to the number of voters in one Ohio county. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the mistaken math.
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Cuyahoga elections board chief moves to prosecutor's office
McGinty says he hopes to use her turn-around skills there

The director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is leaving to become chief of staff for the new county prosecutor, Tim McGinty.  Jane Platten is largely credited with turning around the elections board when she took over in 2004. It had been plagued with big delays and other snafus that drew national ridicule.  McGinty says he wants Platten to implement similar reforms and best practices in his office, which has 340 employees.  McGinty took over as acting prosecutor when Bill Mason resigned in October and was easily elected to the post on Nov. 6.    
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Cleared by the courts, Ohio's provisional ballot count to begin
No difference in the presidential or senatorial contests, but statehouse and local results could change

A federal appeals court has cleared the way and Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections will start counting provisional ballots tomorrow . That’s the first day allowed by state law. Matt McClellan is spokesman for the Ohio Secretary of State's office. He notes that provisional ballots are cast when questions are raised at the polls on election day. And the 10-day delay in counting them is to allow boards of elections to verify the information.
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