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Noon news headlines for Nov. 8, 2012
Ohio a leader in uncounted votes; Ohio Senate highlights next agenda; FirstEnergy 3rd quarter profits down 

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
Download (WKSU Only)
  • Ohio a leader in uncounted votes
  • Parties claim judges lose the name game 
  • Ohio Senate highlights next agenda 
  • FirstEnergy 3rd quarter profits down
  • New Youngstown steel plant in production
  • Ohio a leader in uncounted votes
    A voter’s rights group is claiming that poorly trained poll workers are to partly to blame for the large number of provisional ballots cast in Ohio in Tuesday’s election.

    The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law runs a national Election Protection hotline.  Many of the complaints they received resulted from confusion over Ohio’s voter ID law.

    According to the group, voters in at least three predominantly urban counties in Ohio, Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton were required to use provisional ballots because they could not produce a photo ID.

    Ohio law requires only that voters present an ID, which can include a utility bill or unexpired driver's license.

    The Secretary of State’s office says there are about  205-thousand provisional, about the same as in 2008.

    Ohio has one of the highest rates of provisional ballot rates in the nation, and Politifact Ohio reports that 10 - 20 % of those ballots go uncounted.

    The provisional ballots represent nearly 4-percent of Ohio’s total vote --- but the Secretary of State’s office say they are unlikely to reverse the outcome of any races.

    Parties claim judges lost the name game
    State political party leaders say two of three incumbents on the Ohio Supreme Court lost the election because their challengers had better "ballot names."

    Ohio Republican Party Chairman Robert Bennett blamed Justice Robert Cupp's loss on name familiarity, saying Democratic challenger William O'Neill has a name that appeals to Irish-American voters.

    And likewise the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said Republican Sharon Kennedy's "great ballot name" was the reason for her victory over Justice Yvette McGee Brown.

    Party affiliations for Ohio Supreme Court candidates are not listed on the ballot.

    Ohio Senate highlights next agenda 
    Workforce training and education are among the issues the Ohio Senate plans to take up next session.

    Keith Faber, the No. 2 Republican in the Ohio Senate told at a post-election forum this morning that senators would be studying how to simplify the state's tax code while not raising taxes.

    He also said they plan to review higher education and K-12 funding.

    The state's two-year budget will likely be the focus of much debate this term.

    Faber also said after the defeat of the redistricting measure State Issue 2, Ohio legislators  should work in a collaborative way to change how political lines are drawn.

    FirstEnergy 3rd quarter profits down
    The hot summer of 2012 did not translate into higher profits for local utility FirstEnergy. 

    The Akron based company’s third quarter profits released today were down nearly 20 percent compared with the same period in 2011. 

    First Energy CEO Anthony Alexander blames lower market prices for power and a weak sales environment.  Competition with lower cost natural gas generation was also a factor.

    Alexander predicts FirstEnergy profits will rebound with the economy.

    New Youngstown steel plant in production
    A new steel plant in Youngstown that supplies pipes to the natural gas industry is now in production. 

    The 1 million square foot  V&M Star plant announced this week that the first pipes rolled off the line at the new 650 million dollar facility.

    The French owned company began the expansion in early 2010 in anticipation of Ohio’s Shale gas boom. 

    The new mill will employ 350 and produce 500,000 metric tons of steel pipe when it goes into full production.

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