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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 Very Close Hamilton County Races Could Be Impacted By Counting Of Provisional Ballots


The final result of two very close Hamilton County races won't be known for about two weeks until nearly 13,000 provisional ballots are counted.

But the results from Tuesday night's unofficial vote count are unlikely to be reversed.

In Tuesday night's unofficial count, Democrat Denise Driehaus defeated Republican Dennis Deters by less than a half percentage point.

In a race for a seat on the First District Court of Appeals, Democrat Marilyn Zayas-Davis narrowly defeated Republican Pete Stautberg.

Hamilton County elections board chairman Tim Burke, who is also chairman of the county Democratic party, said he doesn't expect the results to change because of the provisional ballots, which are most often cast by voters who go to the polls without having updated their voter registration or without the proper identification.

"The provisional ballots tend to be more Democratic than Republican, which will add to the margin in the two of the closest races,'' Burke said.

The vast majority of the provisional ballots will be found to be valid, Burke said.

"We have roughly 13,000 provisional ballots yet to be evaluated,'' Burke said. "If history is any indication, then probably 85 to 90 percent of those will be found to be valid ballots and they will be counted."

The board of elections will begin determining which provisionals are valid votes on November 22 and will certify the final results on November 28.

If, after the final results are certified, there is any race where the candidates are separated by less than half a percentage point, there will be an automatic recount.

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