Sep 29

U.S. Supreme Court blocks early voting in Ohio

By Jack Torry & Randy Ludlow The Columbus Dispatch  •  Monday September 29, 2014 5:32 PM

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court today halted early voting in Ohio scheduled to begin Tuesday.
By a 5-4 vote, the justices blocked an order issued earlier this month by U.S. District Court Judge Peter C. Economus that would have given voters the chance to vote early 35 days before the election — meaning Tuesday — instead of the 28 days provided by state law.

Early, in-person voting now will begin on Oct. 7 under state law and a directive previously issued by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted.

Husted’s directive will provide 197 hours of early voting, including 16 weekend hours and no evening hours. The ruling by Economus, which now is set aside, would have provided 259 hours — nearly 30 percent more — including 24 hours each of weekend and evening voting.
Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have upheld Economus’ ruling, but they were outvoted by the five conservative justices.

To read the entire article go to the Columbus Dispatch

Sep 20

Early voting schedule expanded by Secretary of State Jon Husted while court decision under appeal

By Jackie Borchardt, Northeast Ohio Media Group The Plain Dealer
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Secretary of State Jon Husted has set new early, in-person voting hours for all 88 Ohio counties to comply with a federal court judge’s order that he continues to appeal.

U.S. District Court Judge Peter C. Economus restored “Golden Week,” a week-long window when Ohioans could register to vote and cast a ballot. The week was cut by the GOP-led General Assembly earlier this year. Economus ordered Husted to set statewide, uniform hours for the additional days, moving the first day of early, in-person voting from Oct. 7 to Sept. 30.

Husted and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine appealed the judge’s decision and asked both Economus and the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the ruling until after the case is settled. Attorneys for Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine said voters would be confused if a schedule were released with additional days and those days were later removed by the appeals court.

Both Economus and a three-judge panel at the 6th Circuit denied their request for a stay.

Husted sent a new schedule to county elections officials late Friday.

The directive sets the following hours for all county boards of election or early voting centers:

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 through Friday, Oct. 3, 2014
  • 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7 through Friday, Oct. 10
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14 through Friday, Oct. 17
  • 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20 through Friday, Oct. 24
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25
  • 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26
  • 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27 through Friday, Oct. 31
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1
  • 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2
  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3

To read the entire article go to The Plain Dealer.

May 22

Ohio Democratic Party State Dinner


Chairman Chris Redfern and Special Guest Ed FitzGeral

invite you to an evening with


Call 614-341-6911 for more information.

Mar 17

Ohio Mistrusts Democracy


Ohio Republicans must not think their political candidates can win a fair fight against Democrats. They’ve decided to rig the state’s election system in their favor, deliberately making voting harder for people who tend to vote Democratic, particularly minorities and the poor.

After years of debate and litigation on this issue, Ohio lawmakers know full well that there is no history of electoral fraud in the state and no pattern of abuse by any voters or groups. The sole reason for a series of recently passed bills is that Ohio is a perennial swing state, and Republicans want to give themselves every possible advantage in sending party members to Congress later this year, and putting electoral votes in the Republican column in the 2016 presidential election. That’s why Gov. John Kasich signed into law the following provisions:

■ Six days of early voting have been eliminated, and same-day registration will no longer be allowed on those days, during which more than 50,000 people voted in 2012. Blacks participated in early voting at a higher rate than whites.

■ Absentee voting will become much more difficult, because counties are barred from sending out ballot applications. Voters will have to answer a complicated set of questions for their absentee ballot to count, and they will have to pay their own postage. In 2012, 1.2 million people in Ohio voted absentee.

■ Provisional ballots, used when there is a question about a voter’s identity in a polling place, will undergo far greater scrutiny, and can be rejected for minute errors.

To read the entire article go to the NY Times.

Jan 08

New term shifts Newark City Council leadership

Written by Joe Williams, Advocate Reporter (Jan. 7, 2014)


NEWARK — For the first time since 1999, Democrats officially became the majority party on Newark City Council Monday night, and with that shift, assumed key leadership roles.

Council’s newly-elected and re-elected ward members, and City Treasurer Tim Mercer, took the oath of office in separate ceremonies Monday night before the year’s first session, in which the panel makes leadership and committee assignments.

The Democrats earned the majority party distinction in November’s General Election, when Fourth Ward voters favored Democrat Alex Rolletta and ousted Republican Rhonda Loomis. That single race swung what had been the slimmest of majorities for the Republicans — a 5-5 tie on council, but overseen by Council President Don Ellington, a Republican, who votes only to break ties.

Voters in November also elected Democrats Dee Hall and Jeremy Blake for the First and Second ward seats, previously held by Democrats Ed Houdeshell and Shirley Stare, who decided not to seek re-election. Carol Floyd, D-7th Ward, retained her post, as did Republicans Jeff Rath, Third Ward, Curtis Johnson, Fifth Ward, and Doug Marmie, Sixth Ward.

To read the entire article go to The Newark Advocate.

Dec 28

Retirement leaves city without a Stare, for now

The StaresSiblings Frank and Shirley Stare are among two generations of Stares who have been public servants in Newark. Shirley Stare’s 12-year tenure on the Newark City Council ends this month. Frank served three terms as mayor and 14 years on the council.  /  Michael Lehmkuhle/The Advocate (December 28, 2013)

Written by Joe Williams, Advocate Reporter

NEWARK — This week, Newark City Councilwoman Shirley Stare officially closes the door on what some might call the family business — city government — at least for now.

Stare, a Democrat, steps down from her 2nd Ward seat at the end of the day Tuesday, when her term ends. She served for 12 years on the Newark City Council and chose not to run for re-election. She will be replaced by South End community organizer Jeremy Blake, who beat local businessman Mark Christenberry for the seat in November.

“I have to say I really loved it,” Stare said. “I reached a point where I felt it was time to leave, get some new ideas.”

The Stare family’s involvement in the public’s business began in the 1920s, when Stare’s uncle, Peter Stare, served on the city council. Her uncle, Louis, served in the ’30s. Her father, the late Frank Jr., served in the 1940s, and her brother, Frank III, served for 14 years on the council, starting in 1974, before leading the city in three consecutive terms as mayor, from 1992 to 2003.

To read the entire article go to The Newark Advocate.

Nov 06

Marcia Phelps wins re-election

Written by Joe Williams, Advocate Reporter

NEWARK — Veteran public servant Marcia Phelps withstood a strong challenge from political newcomer Olivia Thorp on Tuesday in the race for Licking County Municipal Court clerk, winning 53 to 47 percent.

Phelps won re-election to her second six-year term by 15,908 to 14,110, according to unofficial results from the Licking County Board of Elections.

“The voters, I think, are telling me they appreciate good, hard work, public service,” Phelps said Tuesday night at Democratic Party headquarters. “They want the consistency to remain.”

Phelps thanked “my family, my friends, volunteers and voters, because it took all of them to bring us across to the victory.”

To read the entire article go to The Newark Advocate.

Nov 06

Democrats take control of Newark City Council

Written by Joe Williams, Advocate Reporter

NEWARK — Voters shifted the balance of power on Newark City Council Tuesday, turning control over to the Democrats next year.

Democrats Dee Hall won the 1st Ward, Jeremy Blake cruised to victory in the 2nd Ward and Alex Rolletta upset incumbent Republican Rhonda Loomis in the 4th Ward race. Democrat Carol Floyd won re-election in the 7th Ward, ensuring her party’s control of council.

To read the entire article go to The Newark Advocate.

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