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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.

Two more alleged vote fraud cases sent to prosecutor

Two more persons suspected of illegal voting in the November 2012 election were referred to the Hamilton County prosecutor Monday morning by the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

Referred to the prosecutor were Lakeisha M. Watkins, a 41-year-old woman who cast a provisional ballot in Colerain precinct  W on election day and then voted in her former precinct, Colerain GG. Board of Elections officials tried to contact the woman and was told that she lives in Boston.

The second case involved 77-year-old Johnathan Hillman, who voted a provisional ballot at the board of elections prior to election day and then cast a second provisional ballot at Cincinnati precinct 25A on election day. He told board investigators he doesn’t know why he voted twice.

Also Monday morning, the Ohio Voter Integrity Project, a tea party backed group, presented the board with the cases of 19 persons who used commercial addresses or the addresses of rental storage units to register to vote. Ohio law requires people registering to vote to use their place of residence on registration forms.

The board staff investigated and found that four of those people had filed change of address forms. The board of elections – two Republicans and two Democrats – voted unanimously to have the board continue its investigation into the other 15 cases.

The wide-ranging investigation into voter irregularities has produced 10 cases so far that have been referred to Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters for possible criminal prosecution. Three of those persons have been convicted so far.

Last week, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted broke a partisan tie on the board over whether to refer another 39 cases to the prosecutor- most of them voters who cast an early absentee ballot and then cast a provisional ballot on election day. Only one of their votes was counted. Husted sided with the Republicans, who wanted the cases sent to the prosecutor for further investigation. The board is in the process of doing that.

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