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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ohio provisional ballots trended Democratic

President Barack Obama won Ohio by a slightly higher margin than initially reported after provisional and later arriving absentee ballots were included in the official count for Ohio.

Unofficial results available the night of the election had Obama winning Ohio by two percentage points and it was enough for the state to be put in the win column for the president who was on his way to an Electoral College victory.

It’s not as important now, but it’s interesting to note that the official results certified Thursday by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted show that Obama beat Republican nominee Mitt Romney by three percentage points.

Obama defeated Romney 2,827,621 to 2,661,407 or 50.67 percent to 47.69 percent, official results show.
In this case, and in the grand scheme of things, one percentage point really isn’t that big of a deal. It’s over, nothing has changed.

The addition of provisional and later arriving absentee ballots for the Nov. 6 election favored the Democratic presidential ticket.

Because the race was fairly close the provisional ballots could have played a much larger role had the election in Ohio been just a little bit closer.

What if Romney had been slightly ahead in Ohio on election night and then the state’s electoral votes came down to waiting for the addition of the provisional and absentee ballots?

Obviously that wasn’t the case, and Obama went on to secure the necessary 270 Electoral College votes even without Ohio.

I was surprised that Ohio was called in Obama’s win column on election night so quickly — a little after 11 p.m.

This wouldn’t be a remake of the 2000 presidential election when terms like hanging chads were in vogue as the nation waited to see how the vote in Florida would be concluded.

In Lake County, the addition of provisional and later arriving absentee ballots also favored leaned toward the Democratic presidential ticket as 2,461 votes were added to Obama’s official total and 1,594 votes to Romney’s. Official figures show that Romney won the county 58,744 to 57,680 or 49.50 percent to 48.61 percent.

The pattern also holds true in Lake County for the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Republican Josh Mandel, who is Ohio’s treasurer.

Brown officially won Lake County 54,981 to 52,795 or 48.27 percent to 46.35 percent.
When the provisional and later arriving absentee ballots were added in, Brown gained 2,085 votes and Mandel gained 1,460 votes, when added to unofficial results.

Ryan candidacy?

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, has been mentioned by some as a possible Democratic candidate for Ohio governor in 2014 as he comes from a strong base in the Youngstown area.

Others typically included in that conversation as possible candidates are former Gov. Ted Strickland and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, has recently indicated that he intends to seek re-election.

Ryan’s chances at a possible nomination probably weren’t helped this week when it was revealed that he was arrested by Lexington, Va. police in August for a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication, according to the Youngstown Vindicator. A Virginia judge recently dismissed the charge.

Ryan called the charge “garbage” and said that he wasn’t intoxicated, but had been walking strangely because he had thrown out his back, the newspaper reported.

The Ohio Republican Party pounced on the news and called on Ryan “to provide a credible explanation about his 2 a.m. arrest.”

Swearing in

Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Tim Grendell, 11th District Court of Appeals Judge Diane Grendell, and Geauga Commissioner Ralph Spidalieri will be Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Geauga County Probate Juvenile Courtroom A. Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer will officiate.

Deadline reminder

The weekly deadline for information to appear in this column is each Wednesday at 5 p.m. Email or fax is preferred.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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