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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.

Federal Judge Orders That Tracie Hunter Can Vote

Hamilton County Juvenile Court

A federal judge ruled Thursday that suspended  juvenile court judge Tracie Hunter should be allowed to vote in the November election.

The Hamilton County board of elections had removed her from the voting rolls because of her 2014 felony conviction. She faces a six-month jail term for unlawful interest in a public contract.

Hunter voted in 2015, after her conviction, but was removed from the voting rolls in March of this year because of her felony conviction.

But Hunter sued the board in U.S. District Court, arguing that because she is not incarcerated, she has not lost her right to vote.

Both the appeals court and the Ohio Supreme Court have refused her appeal, but, in May, just before Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick Dinkelacker was to impose sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black granted an emergency stay which has kept her out of jail.

Black is in the process of hearing Hunter's petition for a writ of habeas corpus which, if granted, would release her from the control of the common pleas court.

Thursday, U-S District Court Judge Michael Barrett issued a temporary injunction in Hunter's favor, saying that the board can't reject Hunter's voter registration.

Next Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote in the November 8th election. Early voting begins in Ohio on Wednesday.

Barrett set a hearing for a preliminary injunction in Hunter's case for Friday, October 14th.

Tim Burke, the chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, said the board will meet next Tuesday and decide whether or not it wants to pursue the Hunter case or drop it.

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