Hamilton County Board of Elections

Anderson Township

A complaint filed with the Hamilton County Board of Elections claims Anderson Township Trustee Andrew S. Pappas broke Ohio law while gathering petitions this summer for a repeal of a proposed sales tax increase.

But Pappas, a Republican, says in a letter to board members that it was simply a mistake on his part and offered an apology.

WVXU

All eyes were on the Alabama senate race this week. But there was also a legal battle over whether to keep digital ballot images or delete them.

Republican Jeff Pastor is hanging on to a slim 223 vote lead over Democrat Michelle Dillingham in the official count of the November 7 Cincinnati City Council election. The contest for that ninth seat on is heading for a recount.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections will shut its doors at 824 Broadway downtown Thursday afternoon forever.

Five days later, on Tuesday – the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday – the board will re-open for business in new, more spacious quarters at the Central Parke office complex at 4700 Smith Road in Norwood, on the site of the old General Motors plant.

It will be the first time in history Hamilton County's elections board has been located outside of downtown.

WVXU-FM

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the scene Sunday at the Hamilton County Board of Elections, as hundreds lined up to cast early in-house ballots. Through Sunday, slightly over 27,000 Hamilton County voters took had taken advantage of early voting at the board offices on Broadway downtown. 

Hamilton County Juvenile Court

Suspended juvenile court  judge Tracie Hunter, convicted of a felony in October 2014, has sued the Hamilton County Board of Elections for revoking her right to vote.

Hunter's lawyer, David Singleton, filed a 19-page motion for a temporary restraining order and/or a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court to have her voting rights restored.

"Our argument is very simple,'' Singleton told WVXU. "The law in Ohio only prevents people who are convicted of a felony or felonies and who are incarcerated from voting. Tracie Hunter is not incarcerated."

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The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that Norwood voters won't be voting on a ballot issue in November which would decriminalize marijuana in the city.

Sensible Norwood, the group which circulated the petitions to put the issue on the Nov. 8 ballot, appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court after the Hamilton County Board of Elections rejected the ballot issue in August. 

Wikimedia Commons

The Hamilton County Board of Elections Monday unanimously rejected a Norwood ballot issue which would decriminalize marijuana in the city.

Attorney Brice Keller, who represents Sensible Norwood, the group which circulated petitions for the ballot issue, said he is likely to ask the Ohio Supreme Court to review the elections board's decision.

Keller said Monday afternoon he is likely to file something with the Ohio Supreme Court this week to get an expedited hearing on the matter. 

Wikimedia Commons

A group that wants Norwood voters to decriminalize marijuana will have to argue its case Monday before the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

For almost a year, the U. S. Department of Justice has been studying whether Hamilton County polling places, all 361 of them, are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Hamilton County Board of Elections

The Hamilton County Board of Elections unanimously voted Tuesday morning on a lease agreement for a new home in Norwood, on the site of the former General Motors plant.

In January, the board of elections, now located at 824 Broadway Downtown, will move all of its operations into Norwood's Central Parke office complex on Smith Road.

WCPO

Without a complaint or a lawsuit being filed, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott ordered polling places in Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties to stay open until 8:30.

So, it looks as if the Hamilton County Board of Elections will pull out of downtown and move to Norwood at the end of the year.

If, that is, the county commissioners go along with the somewhat more expensive price tag attached to leasing the Central Parke offices on the former site of the General Motors plant.

Hamilton County Board of Elections

The Hamilton County Board of Elections voted unanimously Wednesday morning to move its headquarters from downtown to the former General Motors site in Norwood.

They will need the approval of the county commissioners to do it.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County's Board of Elections director wants more poll workers for Election Day; and some of those workers could come from the senior classes at local high schools.

Director Sherry Poland says she encourages companies to give employees a paid day-off to work the polls.  Poland says the ideas aren't new.

The two Democrats and two Republicans on the Hamilton County Board of Elections can’t go too long without a tussle; and they had been way too agreeable with each other lately.

That ended last Monday over the name of a candidate for Hamilton County commissioner. That name – actually a candidate’s middle name – set off a row between the Democrats and Republicans on the board.

Howard Wilkinson

Suspended juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter won’t be on the March 15 primary ballot as a Democratic candidate for judge. 

The Hamilton County Board of Elections – two Democrats and two Republicans – voted unanimously Monday morning to bar Hunter from running for the juvenile court seat from which she was suspended. 

Elections can be messy things.

And, by elections, we don’t mean campaigns – those are worse than messy; they are legalized madness. What we mean is the actual organizing of an election,  the running of polling places and the process of counting the votes.

Local boards of elections, for the most part, do a superb job of pulling them off.

But we have been covering politics and elections for over 40 years; and can’t remember a single one where something didn’t go wrong on Election Day – either by human error or technology failure or both.

Hamilton County's final count in the November 5 election began Tuesday, and the results could have a major impact on some suburban races that were very close in the unofficial count on election night.

Tuesday, the board of elections approved counting 11,797 provisional ballots that were cast on election day.

The board ended up rejecting 1,028 – 666 of them because the people who cast them were not registered voters.

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-FM

  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.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections has identified a dozen voter registration forms filed by the campaign to legalize marijuana that may be fraudulent.

And, election officials say, they are examining hundreds more filed by The Strategy Network, a company headed by Ian James, who is also running ResponsibleOhio, the campaign for Issue 3, which would legalize marijuana.

Howard Wilkinson

The Hamilton County Board of Elections Monday morning rejected a challenge to the wording of a Cincinnati charter amendment that would create a one mill tax for city parks.

Hamilton County’s polling places could soon replace paper poll books with electronic ones – possibly by November’s election.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections unanimously voted Monday morning to authorize its staff to prepare a contract with Tenax, a Florida company, to place the electronic poll books in all 373 of the county’s polling places.

One hundred and four poll workers were let go by the Hamilton County Board of Elections Tuesday because they hadn't voted since the 2012 election.

They were all working polling places during the 2013 and 2014 elections, but did not cast ballots themselves, according to the board staff.

Alright, it’s settled now.

The two voter information posters from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted – a candidate for re-election – which display his name prominently featured will be posted in Ohio’s polling places.

Ohio’s director of elections has told Hamilton County Democratic chairman Tim Burke that a voter information poster Burke objects to must be posted in all polling places.

Burke, who is also chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, wrote an e-mail to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted asking if the board was required to put up the two-foot by three-post with Husted’s name in large letters at the bottom.

Husted is a candidate for re-election; and Burke told WVXU he believed it amounts to electioneering inside polling places, which is not allowed.

Howard Wilkinson

Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke believes a voter information poster for polling places sent out by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is a form of electioneering.

The Republican Husted is a candidate for re-election.

The secretary of state's office sent two posters to Ohio's eighty-eight boards of elections, asking them to be placed in polling places.

One is an 11 by 17 inch poster encouraging voting that shows the work of a fifth grade student who won a statewide poster contest sponsored by Husted.

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