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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

Ohio Democrats: Numbers show uniform voting isn't fair voting
Democrats continue to battle Republican limits on weekend early voting

Ohio Democrats and voting rights advocates continue to challenge Secretary of State Jon Husted’s contention that uniform voting hours in Ohio are uniformly fair. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the ongoing battle over early voting:
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Early voting battle coming down along party lines
Secretary of State Jon Husted’s uniform voting hours pits Democrats vs. Republicans

The battle over Secretary of State Jon Husted’s uniform voting hours in all of Ohio’s 88 counties is coming down along party lines. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.
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Renacci, Sutton agree to only one debate, for now
Two incumbents vying for 16th district cite different reasons not to debate

The newly drawn 16th Congressional District is more expansive than the one that was dominated by Stark County for a century. The new lines also tiptoe in and out of Medina, Wayne and Ashland counties. And that’s setting up a contentious race between two incumbents: Republican Jim Renacci and Democrat Betty Sutton. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia spoke with University of Akron political scientist Dave Cohen about the latest skirmish – where and when the candidates will debate.

Jim Renacci wants to debate in Wooster, at the only proposed location that’s actually within the new 16th district. But it’s sponsored by the local chapter of the Chamber of Commerce, which has become increasingly partisan – and to the right – in recent years. 

Betty Sutton wants to spar in Medina County and North Canton, both within the current 16th -- but just outside the new boundaries -- because she says those events will be non-partisan.

But the only event the pair has agreed to is the City Club of Cleveland, the center of Northeast Ohio’s TV market.

The University of Akron’s Bliss Institute of Applied Politics had offered to sponsor the Medina County event, at the university’s branch campus about a half-mile outside the line for the new 16th. A statement from Renacci cited geography as his reason for saying no. But Bliss political scientist Dave Cohen says Renacci could be avoiding Medina for a very simple reason.
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Probing ALEC relationship with Ohio lawmakers
Progressive groups says the group has cozied up too closely with the GOP legislators and gotten around lobbying rules

A progressive group says it’s concerned about the influence held in Ohio by a national organization of state lawmakers, lobbyists and corporate officials. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, one lawmaker who’s a member of the organization says there’s nothing to see here.
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Husted sets uniform early voting hours
His decision extends weekday hours, but still forbids weekends

Secretary of State Jon Husted has directed elections boards in all 88 Ohio counties to offer uniform hours for early, in-person voting. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.
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Portman gets prime speaking role at GOP convention
Gov. John Kasich is also expected to speak at the convention

U.S. Senator Rob Portman is not Mitt Romney’s running mate. But the Ohio Republican is being given a prominent role in the upcoming GOP national convention. Ohio Public Radio’s Bill Cohen explains.
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Ryan attacks President on trade, stimulus, Medicare
GOP Vice Presidential candidate stops in Stark County in full attack mode

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan hit President Obama especially hard on Chinese trade in his visit to Stark County today. But Mitt Romney’s running mate had plenty of other criticisms of the president. In his speech at Walsh University in North Canton, Ryan accused Mr. Obama of raiding Medicare, overspending and dragging down job growth.
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Equal voting processes for Ohio counties may still be unfair for voters
Democrats are saying that having the same voting times for each county won't ensure everyone the same experience 

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s directive that election boards in all of Ohio’s 88 counties must keep the same hours leaves some Democrats wondering whether that’s really fair for all Ohioans. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles explains some Democrats say equal is not necessarily fair where voting rights are concerned.
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Activists say redistricting measure suffers setback
Plan to take politics out of congressional redistricting may not be worded to everyone's liking on November ballot

Ohio political activists, pushing a ballot issue they say would take partisan politics out of the drawing of legislative and congressional districts, say they’ve just suffered a big loss because of the way their plan will be summarized on the November ballot. Republicans who’ve written the summary, though, insist it’s fair and impartial. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports on the action Wednesday at the state ballot board.
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Santorum works on getting out the GOP faithful in Summit County
Local Democrats challenge the claims; say they're part of the American Dream, too

The last time Rick Santorum was giving speeches in Akron, he was surging in the presidential primary polls and playing to a sold-out crowd at a Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner.  The crowd at Tangiers restaurant Wednesday afternoon was a lot smaller, but no less enthusiastic.  And WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that Santorum’s job now is one that the presidential campaigns of both Mitt Romney and President Obama are increasingly focused on: getting the faithful out to vote.
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Prosecutor's office confirms probe with Rep. Clayton Luckie as target
The charges that Luckie could face are expected to be ethics related

Just as one former state lawmaker starts to serve a prison sentence, there’s word that another legislator is under investigation for possible criminal activity. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.
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Geauga prosecutor is Ohio GOP pick for Congress
David Joyce replaces long-term incumbent Steve LaTourette on the November ballot

Northeast Ohio’s Republicans have unanimously picked Geauga County’s prosecutor to replace Congressman Steve LaTourette on the November ballot. The 14 leaders of the Republican parties in the seven counties that are part of LaTourette’s district spent just a few minutes organizing procedures before picking David Joyce this afternoon. Joyce then scheduled a press conference on the steps of the Geauga County courthouse. LaTourette announced last week that Washington politics had dissuaded him from running for a 10th term in November. But his withdrawal from the race didn’t take effect until Wednesday, which means party officials got to pick his successor, rather than forcing a party-primary vote. Democrats now have a perennial long-shot candidate running for the seat, Dale Blanchard. And despite pressure from his party, he’s refusing to remove himself so Democrats can replace him with someone they think has a better chance of winning. The district is fairly evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans, but LaTourette’s popularity had made it very unlikely a Democrat would win the district.
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Voters over 50 uncertain on retirement
A new study reveals about half of voters over 50 are either somewhat confident or not-at-all confident that they will be able to retire.

A new survey shows a majority of voters over 50 have serious reservations about when – or if – they’ll be able to retire. And because of that, they’re saying the presidential candidates need to talk more about Social Security and Medicare. The poll commissioned by AARP surveyed voters in Ohio and five other states, and pollster Guy Molyneaux says overall, baby boomer voters are pessimistic.
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Husted touts on-line changes to Ohio voter registration
Democrats say if he really wanted to encourage voters, he'd fight restrictions on voting hours

Ohio voters can now check and change their voter registrations online. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports on one of the lesser-known changes in voting laws this year.
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70 percent of school tax levies fail in special election
Voters turn down requests for Barberton, Coventry and Woodridge. Issues for Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Buckeye Local pass

School levies around the state did not fair well in yesterday’s election. Twenty-five school levies failed, 10 passed, and one was pulled from the ballot. That amounts to 70 percent of issues failing. StateImpact Ohio’s Ida Lieszkovszky reports voters can expect to see many more school levies this November.


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Shaker Heights voters approve tax increase
About two-thirds of voters approved a .5 percent increase in Tuesday’s special election

Most Shaker Heights residents say they’re willing to pay more income tax to preserve their standard of living. And they made that point at the ballot box yesterday. About two-thirds of voters approved a .5-percent increase in Tuesday’s special election.  This means they’ll pay about 30 percent more to offset a multi-million dollar deficit, that Shaker leaders say was mostly caused by the elimination of Ohio’s estate tax.  But critics say Shaker’s administration failed to make vital cuts to the city’s budget, and there was more to be done instead of a tax hike.  Mark Zetzer is with the Shaker Heights Taxpayers Union, which campaigned against the increase.
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