Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
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.

Elections Board Members Accept Cranley's Apology For Campaigning In Polling Place

Tana Weingartner

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.

A complaint was filed with the board of elections by poll worker Mary Siegel of the Ohio Voter Integrity Project. She says Cranley entered the polling place at the Urban League office in Avondale and twice shouted, “Vote yes on Issue 22.”

Campaigning within 100 feet of a polling place is a violation of Ohio law.

Siegel’s complaint said that she hopes the board will “formally investigate this incident to determine the extent of the mayor’s unlawful actions.”

But, Thursday afternoon, after Cranley’s apology, it did not seem the board was inclined to do that.

“Although I was in the polling place for less than a few minutes to check on voter turnout, I mistakenly mentioned my support for Issue 22,’’ the Democratic mayor said in a written statement. “That was an error in judgment which won’t be repeated.”

Issue 22 was a one-mill permanent levy for the Cincinnati parks. The levy, which was pushed hard by Cranley, was soundly defeated, with 59 percent of city voters casting “no” ballots.

Elections board chairman Tim Burke, who also heads the county Democratic Party, said “these kind of things happen every year in polling places and you just get it resolved to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s not the kind of thing that should go to the prosecutor.”

Republican board member Alex Triantafilou, who chairs the county GOP, said he was satisfied that the matter is closed.

“I accept his apology and I hope it sends a signal to all others that this sort of thing shouldn’t happen inside our polling places,’’ Triantafilou said. 

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