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0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4f90000Howard 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 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 16 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.

Vote fraud defendant seeks diversion program

A 75-year-old Symmes Township man charged with illegally casting an absentee ballot for his deceased wife last fall has asked a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge to place him in a diversion program, thus avoiding jail time.

Russell Glossop was charged with voter fraud after mailing in an absentee for his wife, Betty Ann Glossop, who died on Oct. 1 last year. She had requested an absentee ballot in August. The absentee ballots were not mailed out until Oct. 4, three days after her death.

Glossop is one of three persons charged with voter fraud.

Melowese Richardson, a poll worker at the Madisonville Recreation Center on election day last November, is charged with voting twice and casting ballots for seven other people. She is due in court Wednesday.

Marguerite Kloos, a nun of the Sisters of Charity, was charged with voting for another nun who had already died. Her lawyer contacted the prosecutor, who said she intends to plead guilty. She is to appear in court April 16.

A disposition scheduling conference was held Tuesday morning in the courtroom of Judge Ethna Cooper, where Glossop's attorney asked that his client be considered for a diversion program for first-time offenders. In order to qualify, he would have to enter a guilty plea to the charge.

Cooper set a hearing on Glossop's request for May 14.

Illegally casting a ballot is a fourth-degree felony in Ohio, punishable by up to 18 months in prison for each offense.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.