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Politics
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.

Democratic chair: Is Husted electioneering with polling place poster?

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Howard Wilkinson
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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.

But the one Burke, who's also chairman of the county board of elections, is objecting to a two foot by three foot poster with information on using a driver's license as voter I-D.  It contains Husted's name in large letters.

Burke sent Husted an e-mail early Tuesday morning asking whether or not the secretary of state was ordering the posters to be used.

“Husted’s name is bold on it,’’ Burke said. “It’s as big as an over-sized bumper sticker.

“No other candidate is entitled to engage in electioneering, no supporter is even entitled to wear a button with a candidate’s name on it into the polling place,’’ Burke said.

Husted spokesman Matthew McClellan says there's nothing out of the ordinary about the poster.

“We do place the secretary’s name on there to ensure that constituents know that this information is accurate; it is official; and there’s no fraudulent information in there anywhere,’’ McClellan said.

McClellan says Husted has issued no formal directive that would require the poster to be placed in polling places, but has asked that they be posted.

Burke says if there's no directive, he'll ask fellow board of election members for a special meeting to vote on whether or not to put up the posters. As of Tuesday afternoon, Burke had not received a reply from Husted.

Hamilton County Republican Party chairman Alex Triantafilou said he has no objection to the poster and said Burke is “just trying to score political points.”

“Both sides do that,’’ Triantafilou said. “There’s nothing unusual about it.”

If the issue does come before the board of elections for a vote, it is likely to be a two-to-two tie along party lines, which means the matter would go to Husted to cast the tie-breaking vote.