Ohio government

Strickland Diet to Slim Down Government, Gambling Machine Expansion to Fatten Coffers

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: With Ohio staggering at the back of the pack of states in important categories like job loss and rising poverty, and with the wolf of recession roaming close by, it was only a matter of time before Governor Ted Strickland reacted to projections that his two-year state budget could be as much as $1.9 billion in the red by mid 2009.

In Ohio: Battleground State Battles

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: The label “battleground state” generally refers to a state whose Electoral College votes can make or break a race for the White House. Ohio, the nation’s 7th largest state with 20 such votes, has been so designated in previous election cycles and is predicted to again defend that title this year.

This year the moniker "battleground state" may more aptly describe the breakout of intra-state battles taking shape over the budget, voting systems and energy. These battles are creating fissures between Republicans, who still rule the roost at the legislature and office of auditor, and Democrats, who for the first time in 16 years control the executive branch and offices of attorney general, treasurer and secretary of state.

Like Déjà Vu, Sour Stew Starting to Brew over Voting in Ohio

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: Just when you thought the confab and controversy over Ohio’s problem-plagued system of voting was over, a new stew is brewing pitting election-law experts and voting-rights advocates against Ohio’s new chief elections officer, who recently decided to scrap expensive, hackable touch-screen machines in favor of expensive, temperamental optical scanners in the hotspot of Ohio election failures just a few short months before the Buckeye State’s March primary.

Ohio Supremes’ Ruling Good for Bad Bills, Bad for Good Juries

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: The best Republican Supreme Court money can buy delivered another blow to Ohioans Thursday, when it upheld as constitutional a punitive bill rammed through a Republican-led General Assembly in 2004 that arbitrarily imposed low limits on damages in personal injury lawsuits.

Ohio SOS Breaks Tie, Chooses Optical Scan Machines for Cuyahoga, It’s Her Election Now

Ohio Unemployment Fund Could Lose Its Job, Officials Say

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: Like many Ohio workers who have lost their jobs over the last decade, Ohio’s fund for jobless workers may itself become unemployed come next spring if expenditures to the jobless continue to out pace employer contributions.

Ohio Election Officials Say Reform Costly, Others Say Reforms Also Risky, Unwise

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: Last Friday Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner presented the controversial findings of her $1.8 million dollar EVEREST study of Ohio’s election system showing vulnerabilities abound.

Strickland Says Ohio Election System Changes Needed for 08 Presidential Race

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, responding to the findings in a report released last Friday that confirmed serious vulnerabilities exist with Ohio’s pervasive and costly system of electronic voting, said he hopes changes can be made before next year’s race for the White House so it doesn’t turn out to be as flawed and open to criticism as were the two previous elections.

Brunner’s EVEREST Report Finds Vulnerabilities in Ohio Voting System

OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: With $100 million in federal Help America Vote Funds having been spent already to purchase thousands of electronic voting machines used in Ohio’s 88 counties, the $1.9 million more in federal funds just spent by Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to perform a comprehensive review of voting systems used in the state seems only to have further muddied the waters of what to do for the 2008 March primaries and the fall general elections, when a massive turnout is expected for the race for the White House.

Ohio Judge Strikes Down Republican Campaign Finance Bill, Wrong Bill Signed

ePluribus Media OhioNews Bureau

ONB COLUMBUS: An Ohio common pleas court judge struck down a Republican-pushed campaign finance bill Thursday because the wrong version of the legislation was signed by former Gov. Bob Taft and then filed with the secretary of State, making it the law of the land.

The controversial campaign finance bill was rammed through a lame-duck session of the legislature in 2006 by the GOP, which at the time enjoyed veto-proof margins in both chambers of the legislature and had a Republican governor willing to sign the bill.

Ohio Wins Poll-Worker Training Funds, Voting Problems Persist in Cuyahoga County

ePluribus Media Ohio News Bureau

ONB Columbus: It’s unfortunate that Ohio had to wait until the November general elections were over before winning a poll-worker training grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts (PCT). The grant initiative will fund an online training program for poll workers and state and local-election officials that will hopefully make them more competent and capable in their jobs on Election Day.