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Morning news headlines for November 8, 2012
Many provisional ballots still need counted; Judge wants names in provisional ballot suit; Cleveland schools reverse cuts
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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  • Many provisional ballots still to be counted
  • Judge demands name of last-second provisional ballot order author
  • Analysis shows Obama strong in big cities, weak in the rest of Ohio
  • Brown plans to push campaign finance legislation
  • Cleveland schools restore cuts after passage of Issue 107
  • Revenue falls again at Ohio casinos
  • Cleveland State going tobacco-free
  • U.S. Agent: Soldier accused in Afghan massacre took steroids
  • Officials to re-inspect Conneaut prison after audit revealed problems
  • Many provisional ballots still to be counted
    As many as 325,000 ballots remain to be counted in Ohio. The Secretary of State’s office says there are about 205,000 provisional votes and nearly 120,000 outstanding absentees, ballots that were mailed to voters who requested them but that had not been returned as of Election Day. The provisional ballots - counted 10 days after the election - represented nearly 4 percent of Ohio’s total vote, but are unlikely to reverse the outcome of any races.  In past elections, a sizable percentage of provisional ballots have usually been disqualified, often because of mistakes by voters or poll workers.

    Judge demands name of last-second provisional ballot order author
    A federal judge has angrily demanded that attorneys for Ohio's elections chief name who drafted an election-eve order about how to count provisional ballots. Secretary of State Jon Husted decided last Friday that voters must fill out the identification section when they ask for a provisional ballot, not poll workers. In some cases, votes are thrown out when voters don’t fill out the information completely or correctly. During a hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley's voice rose nearly to a shout at time as he asked attorneys what research Husted’s office had done before issuing the order. There are as many as 325,000 provisional as well as absentee ballots cast Tuesday that are typically counted 10 days after the election. They are unlikely to reverse outcomes of any races.

    Analysis shows Obama strong in big cities, weak in the rest of Ohio
    The so-called "five Ohios" broke down into two for President Barack Obama's victory in the pivotal battleground state. Pot-election analysis shows the president carried big-city, industrial, unionized Ohio, and Republican Mitt Romney carried nearly all of the rest of the state. Mr. Obama won Ohio's six biggest counties in terms of votes. Exit polls indicate he won two-thirds of the vote in the biggest cities. That was enough to offset strong showings by Romney in GOP suburbs and rural areas. Romney also won several traditional bellwether counties.

    Brown plans to push campaign finance legislation
    Senator Sherrod Brown says he'll promote more campaign finance disclosure after prevailing in Tuesday's election against close to $40 million in undisclosed outside spending. Brown beat Republican Josh Mandel in the closely watched race. Top groups targeting Brown were the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Crossroads organization of Republican strategist Karl Rove.  Brown says he supports the DISCLOSE Act, which prohibits government contractors from spending in federal elections and expands donor disclosure.

    Cleveland schools restore cuts after passage of Issue 107
    Cleveland school officials wasted no time in restoring some cuts after voters approved a 15-mill levy Tuesday.  The Cleveland Metropolitan School District Board voted Wednesday night to restore 50 minutes to the school day at kindergarten through eighth grade schools. The days were shortened earlier this year to help the district erase a $66 million budget deficit. It's the first time Cleveland residents have passed a levy for the struggling school district in 16 years.

    Revenue falls again at Ohio casinos
    Revenue at Cleveland’s casino fell for a fourth straight month in October. The Ohio Casino Control Commission reports Horseshoe Casino’s nearly $21,000,000 in revenues after paying winners was down $300,000 from the previous month. Revenue at the Hollywood Casino in Toledo has been falling alongside the Horseshoe's. Its nearly $15,000,000 in revenue for October was down more than one million dollars from September. Another Hollywood opened in Columbus last month and collected $18 million through the end of the month.

    Cleveland State going tobacco-free
    By next fall, Cleveland State University will be tobacco-free. The board of trustees on Wednesday approved the policy that bans anyone on campus from using tobacco – including in outdoor spaces like parking lots. It will go into effect in September 2013 after a university task force develops a system for filing and handling complaints. 

    U.S. Agent: Soldier accused in Afghan massacre took steroids
    A U.S. agent who investigated a massacre at two Afghan villages last March says the southwest Ohio soldier charged in the killings had taken steroids.  The agent testified at a hearing Wednesday that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales tested positive for steroids three days after the killings. Bales of Norwood, outside Cincinnati, faces 16 counts murder and a count of steroid use. The hearing will help determine whether his case advances to a court martial.

    Officials to re-inspect Conneaut prison after audit revealed problems
    State prison officials are visiting the lakeshore prison that became the nation's first privately owned state prison last year to see whether dozens of safety, health and security issues uncovered in a recent audit have been fixed. A September audit found problems at the Lake Erie Correctional Facility in Conneaut that’s now owned by Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America. The management review found mildew in showers, and general conditions where both staff and inmates reported feeling unsafe. CCA took over the prison on New Year's Eve in a deal worth $73 million.

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