Ohio: 10 things about the election


By Marc Kovac

news@vindy.com

COLUMBUS

Republican nominee Donald Trump won Ohio on his way to a national victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, and GOP candidates had strong showings down the ticket in the Buckeye state.

And overall it was a smooth election, with few surprises at the state level.

Here are 10 things to consider about the outcome of Tuesday’s general election:

1 Smooth election: Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said the election was smooth, with no lawsuits, incidents of voter intimidation or other problems. Ohioans participated, despite earlier fears that they’d refrain from casting ballots.

“Voters had expressed some dissatisfaction with some of the choices they had on the ballot,” Husted said. “But ultimately, they performed their patriotic duty. They got out there, they fulfilled the right and responsibility to cast a ballot. We saw strong turnout across the state.”

2 Turnout: More than 5.4 million of Ohio’s nearly 7.9 million registered voters, or about 69 percent, cast ballots, according to the unofficial results from the secretary of state’s office. That was in line with the past three presidential elections.

In 2012, about 5.6 million of nearly 8 million registered voters (70.5 percent) cast ballots. In 2008, nearly 5.8 million of close to 8.3 million registered voters (70 percent) cast ballots. In 2004, more than 5.7 million of nearly 8 million registered voters (71.8 percent) cast ballots.

3 Local results: Putnam County up in northwest Ohio had the highest turnout rate, at more than 80 percent. Lawrence County was lowest with 60 percent turnout. In the Mahoning Valley, Mahoning County had 69.5 percent turnout, Trumbull County, 68.3 percent and Columbiana County, 70.4 percent.

4 More ballots: There still are more ballots to add to the mix, however. Nearly 158,000 voters cast provisional ballots and have a little more than a week to verify their addresses and eligibility. There’s another 103,000 or so absentee ballots that were requested but have not yet been counted. Some of those likely are in the mail. Others may have been discarded.

5 Recounts: As of right now, there don’t appear to be any statewide races close enough for a mandatory recount.

6 Presidential race: Trump nearly won Ohio by double digits, outpacing Clinton, 52 percent-43.5 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson, listed as an independent on Ohio’s ballot, was third with 3.17 percent. The Green Party’s Jill Stein and independent Richard Duncan had less than 1 percent.

7 The Big Winner: The top statewide vote-getter in Ohio didn’t have an opponent Tuesday night. Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor received nearly 3.5 million votes.

8 Congress: More than 20 percentage points separated U.S. Senate victor Portman from Democratic challenger Ted Strickland. According to the unofficial results, it was Portman 58 percent, Strickland 37 percent, with 1 to 2 percent for each of the three other candidates on the ballot.

9 Ohio Statehouse: It was a rough night for the Ohio Democratic Party, with Republicans building on their already-super-majority positions in the state Legislature.

Republicans won 14 of 16 seats in the Ohio Senate that were up Tuesday night. The results give Republicans a 24-9 advantage in the Senate.

Likewise, Republicans picked up a seat on the Ohio House, giving them a 66-33 advantage in that chamber.

10 Changing Chambers: A handful of lawmakers are switching chambers. Current Reps. Stephanie Kunze, R-Hilliard, Sean O’Brien of Bazetta D-63rd, and Lou Terhar, R-Cincinnati, are headed to the Ohio Senate, as are former state Reps. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, and Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls. Sens. Keith Faber, R-Celina, Thomas Patton, R-Cleveland, Jim Hughes, R-Columbus, and Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, are headed to the Ohio House.

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