Election 2017

Niraj Antani

There have only been three laws that citizens or groups have convinced Ohio voters to approve on election day – Issue 2 would have been the fourth if it had passed. Now a southwestern Ohio state representative wants to change the process to bring laws or constitutional amendments to the ballot.

Gov. John Kasich still won’t say whether he’ll be on the ballot again, but he did have some thoughts about how Democrats and his fellow Republicans fared in Tuesday’s election results.

Kasich says the results were a rejection of negative and narrow campaigning and leadership. And he says those who think Republican losses were about inaction to repeal Obamacare are wrong. And that wasn’t all:  “A party that moves to blunt immigration or to break down trade or alienate our allies, that’s just not going to work."

Picture of elementary school classroom

Voters approved three out of four school levies on the ballot during Tuesday’s general election. But an Ohio economist who studies school funding says some concerning trends are emerging from those results.

Photo of Sherrod Brown

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says Ohio could learn from this week’s wins for Democrats in New Jersey and Virginia.

Brown says that when voters elected Democratic governors in the two states -- and a number of other Democrats around the country -- this week, they were really sending a message about the federal government and its handling of things like health care. He says that should resonate with Ohioans next year.


Both Republicans and Democrats are saying Tuesday’s vote gives them reasons to be hopeful about next year’s statewide election, which includes the race for governor. 

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper says his party had big wins in mayor’s offices in 9 out of 10 large cities as well as success in traditionally red areas like Wilmington.

Issue 2 was the most expensive ballot campaign in Ohio history, and it went down big with nearly 80% of voters against it. And while supporters will take the campaign to other states, an Ohio campaign spokesperson says this election turned a light on a flaw with the process.

Yes on Issue 2 spokesperson Dennis Willard says big drug companies were able to conceal their names and the millions of dollars each contributed to defeating the Drug Price Relief Act.

photo of Cathy Harper Lee

Issue 1, the constitutional amendment that gives crime victims legal standing, was overwhelming approved by Ohio voters at the ballot box. It passed 83-17.

A surprising win, even for supporters
Dr. Henry Nicholas financed most of the Ohio campaign to pass Issue 1, known as Marsy’s Law. It’s named for his sister, who was killed by her boyfriend in 1983. Nicholas flew in from California to be with supporters of Marsy’s Law as the results came in on Election Night. And he seemed surprised at its overwhelming passage.

photo of Curt Steiner and Dennis Willard

The debate over Issue 2 stirred a fight over the rising cost of drug prices and if the proposal would actually bring those prices down. It was a fight that ultimately became the most expensive ballot campaign in Ohio history. But voters rejected the ballot measure and as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, with all the money and debate, nothing about the drug industry will change.

A not-so-simple sell

Cleveland City Council Gets Five New Members

Nov 8, 2017
photo of campaign signs outside polling location

Cleveland's 17 city council seats will include some new faces starting in January.

In Ward 7, Basheer Jones beat out incumbent TJ Dow in a close race.

Jones surpassed Dow in the unofficial tally by 19 votes. Dow was first elected in 2007 to the East Side ward that includes Hough and St. Clair-Superior.

At his watch party near Downtown Cleveland, after the votes were counted, Jones called for unity between his supporters and Dow’s.

photo of Zack Reed

Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed gave up his Ward 2 seat to challenge incumbent mayor Frank Jackson and lost.   But Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports Reed believes he made a difference.

Zack Reed sounded a bit frustrated in his concession speech after losing by 19 percentage points.

“The voters of the city of Cleveland spoke and they want to continue down the path we’ve been going down for the last 12 years,” Reed said.

Reed campaigned on the argument that neighborhoods needed more attention and downtown development less. And he wanted to hire more police.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson Wins Fourth Term

Nov 8, 2017
photo of Mayor Frank Jackson

Frank Jackson has become the first Cleveland mayor to win a fourth four-year term in office. He defeated city councilman Zack Reed by 19 points in Tuesday's election.

In the end, it wasn’t close. Jackson beat Reed almost 60-40. 

The mayor told supporters that this campaign reconnected him with the city’s neighborhoods—and gave him an education about people’s suffering.

Dan Horrigan, Mayor Akron
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Akron’s city income tax increase has passed by more than a two-to-one margin.

Mayor Dan Horrigan took to the podium to a broad cheer at Jack’s Irish Pub on Tuesday night. The quarter percent income tax increase is expected to generate $16 million for roads, police and fire and EMS. 

Asked what they’ll do first, both interim police chief Kenneth Ball and Fire Chief Clarence Tucker talked about safety. Tucker said the new revenue would toward another set of gear for firefighters, to protect against exposure to poisons and carcinogens.

photo of Dan Horrigan

  In Akron, city officials were successful in their drive to convince voters to approve a quarter percent increase in the city's income tax.  The increase will be dedicated to public safety and roadway improvements.  Unofficial estimates show the levy got 70 percent of the vote.

In Summit County, a levy renewal to support Summit Development Disabilities easily passed.  It got almost 80 percent of the vote.

photo of voters

Though there were two statewide issues, several big mayoral and local elections and more than 1500 levies and other issues on ballots across Ohio, Election Night 2017 didn’t bring out voters in big numbers. 

More than 385,000 Ohioans voted early – that was a little more than in 2015, when the ballot included a controversial issue to legalize marijuana and set up 10 exclusive growing sites. But Secretary of State Jon Husted said in person turnout was far below what might have been expected. 

Ohio voting sticker

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, November 7th:

Ohio voting sticker

Ohioans will be going to the polls tomorrow to vote on victim’s rights, drug prices and many local candidates and issues. 

Issue 1 is the state constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law, which would put victims' rights in the Ohio constitution.

Ohio voting sticker

EDITOR'S NOTE: Power outages also have forced changes at four Summit County polling places. Those have been added below.

Power outages from Sunday's storms have forced the Portage County Board of Elections to move two polling locations tomorrow in Aurora. 

People who would have voted at Christ Community Chapel will go instead to Harmon Middle School at 130 Aurora Hudson Road.

Voters who were set to go to the Walker Building will vote at The Bertram Inn at 600 North Aurora Road.

Barberton cheerleaders

This Election Day, voters in nearly four-dozen Ohio school districts will decide if they want to increase local taxes to pay for their schools. But even more – about 70 districts -- are asking voters to renew existing taxes. And just about all of them are dealing with a nuance of state law that ensures the districts will have to go back to the voters again in a few years. That’s because property tax concerns of more than 40 years ago are still shaping the way we pay for schools today.

Barberton City Schools

photo of Dan Horrigan

This Election Day, Akron voters are being asked to consider Issue 4, a quarter-percent income tax increase. It would be the first such increase in a generation.

In February, 1981, Roy Ray was capping his first year as mayor of Akron with a narrowly approved income-tax increase. The extra money was for “essential city services:" police, fire and roads.

Kent Voters Will Decide on Sanctuary Status Next Month

Oct 24, 2017

Voters on Nov. 7 will decide if Kent should join the small list of Ohio cities that have declared sanctuary status.


If passed, Issue 9 would prevent the city from coordinating or cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or any federal agency when it comes to immigration status.


Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

Backers of the Drug Price Relief Act, also known as Issue 2 on next month's ballot, say the media isn’t explaining it well. So, as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, they are taking their message straight to voters.


form U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich stands at a podium
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich will be starring in ads and on the campaign trail in support of the drug-price ballot question known as Issue 2. But his presence isn’t the only new element to the campaign. A new bill will also be coming to specify how the predicted savings from the issue would be used if it passes.

photo of Rory Rennick

Two sides are battling over an issue on this fall’s ballot that attempts to lower the costs of prescription drugs. As expected big drug companies have landed right in the middle of the fight. Exactly who is funding that side remains a big question mark.

“Which pile do you want?” asks Rory Rennick as he performs some street magic at on Capitol Square in Columbus.  He has a tray table, a deck of cards and some fancy handwork.

“Count the cards in your hand.”

photo of Marsy's Law supporters

Ohioans will be voting on an issue this fall that, if passed, would add what backers call a victim’s bill of rights to the Ohio Constitution.

The Secretary of State has certified signatures submitted by backers of what’s known as “Marsy’s Law," meaning it’ll be on this fall’s ballot. 

photo of Marsy's Law petitions

A group that wants Ohio to adopt a bill of victim rights has submitted signatures to put the issue on the ballot this fall.

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to establish a bill of rights for crime victims have filed 560,000 petitions for this fall’s ballot. That's nearly twice the number of signatures the group needs.