Updated Nov. 3, 2015 at 5:56 p.m.
The latest developments in Ohio’s general election as voters decide issues including whether to legalize marijuana (all times EST):
Issue 3: The proposed constitutional amendment would allow adults 21 and older to grow, possess and use pot while making it available for medical use. Home-growers would be limited to four flowering marijuana plants and 8 ounces of usable marijuana at a given time for personal use. Pot sold commercially would have to come from 10 authorized growing sites that are already spoken for.
Issue 2: An initiative by state legislators that seeks to ban monopolies from Ohio’s constitution and specifically targets the designated commercial growing sites in Issue 3.
If both ballot questions are approved by Ohio voters, a court will likely decide the issue.
Useful weed resources
In a single stroke, Ohio voters rejected a ballot proposal Tuesday to legalize marijuana for both recreational and medical use.
Ohio’s elections chief has told local officials to start tallying votes but not release statewide results until 9 p.m., the extended closing time for polls in Cincinnati and surrounding Hamilton County.
Polls closed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday elsewhere in Ohio, but a judge ordered a 90-minute extension for voting locations in Hamilton County.
The marijuana legalization campaign ResponsibleOhio sought the extension in a filing for an emergency injunction, citing problems that occurred with a new electronic check-in system. The judge concluded that extending polling hours there was the right response.
Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) then issued an evening directive saying other counties’ results are to be embargoed until those polls close.
Polls in Cincinnati and surrounding Hamilton County will remain open until 9 p.m. under a judge’s order.
Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman made the decision Tuesday in response to an emergency injunction filed by the marijuana legalization campaign ResponsibleOhio. The group sought the extension, citing problems experienced throughout the day involving a new electronic check-in system.
The election board fought the extension.
The judge’s decision was confirmed to The Associated Press by Eric Kearney, a former state senator who served as plaintiff in the request.
Media outlets that were in the courtroom report that Ruehlman heard brief arguments, then said giving voters an extra 90 minutes was “the right thing to do.”
Polls in other Ohio counties are scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m.
A marijuana legalization campaign in Ohio has asked a judge to extend voting for an additional 90 minutes in the county that includes Cincinnati, citing a glitch with the electronic check-in system.
A spokeswoman for ResponsibleOhio says the injunction was filed Tuesday. It asks for polls in Hamilton County to remain open until 9 p.m.
Hamilton County Elections Director Sherry Poland says polls were still scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m. pending notification from the court.
The request involves Ohio’s third most populous county. It comes as Ohio voters are deciding an issue that would legalize both recreational and medical marijuana in a single stroke for the first time in the nation. Results were expected to be close.
Two other statewide questions are also on the ballot.
The state elections chief says turnout by Ohio voters appears to be lower than normal based on the number of absentee ballots, but Election Day voters could help make up for it.
After voting at a Columbus-area elementary school, Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) told reporters that he’s heard reports from around the state that polling locations have seen a steady flow of voters on Tuesday.
More than 383,000 of the nearly 484,000 absentee ballots requested have been cast. Husted says that’s “much, much lower” than recent off-year elections with statewide issues on ballots.
Husted says the election is going smoothly for the most part, despite some problems in Hamilton County with a new electronic check-in system. He said the equipment worked but poll workers weren’t using them correctly.
Husted says he’s not aware of people being denied access to a ballot because of the problem.
Some voters in southwest Ohio’s Hamilton County reported problems in getting ballots because of a new electronic check-in system being used for this election.
Joe Brotzge (BRAHT-‘zkee) of suburban Loveland says he was second in line when polls opened Tuesday morning. He says he spent 25 minutes there and ended up having to cast a provisional ballot in the precinct where he says he’s voted for 30 years.
The Hamilton County elections director says around 10 of the county’s 369 polling stations reported early problems. She blamed “a learning curve” for poll workers.
Brotzge questioned what appeared to be inadequate testing of the new system and training of poll workers he described as “like a deer in headlights.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio called on the county to immediately address any issues that could disenfranchise voters.
Turnout was light at Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood mid-morning Tuesday as 46-year-old Cheryl Davis arrived on her birthday to cast her ballot. Davis says she uses marijuana to help alleviate chronic pain in her back and voted “yes” on Issue 3 and “no” on Issue 2. Marijuana, she says, “helps me be comfortable in my daily living.”
Fifty-nine-year-old Crystal Allen says she also voted for Issue 3 and against Issue 2. She said she doesn’t use marijuana but saw how it helped her sister while she was being treated for cancer. “If people need it, they should be able to get it,” she says.
After emerging into bright sunshine after voting at an elementary school in the leafy Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, 65-year-old Marty Schraeger says he voted “no” on Issue 3 and “yes” on Issue 2. The retired school principal said he thinks marijuana should be legalized in the U.S., but opposes the idea of monopolies having control of the business.
Two voters who support marijuana legalization say they voted against Ohio’s Issue 3 because they don’t like the part creating exclusive growing sites.
Sixty-two-year-old Marty Dvorchak (Duh-vor-CHAK’) of Fairfield says he didn’t expect to vote against legalizing marijuana when it finally reached the ballot, because he considers it “ridiculous” that marijuana is illegal. But he doesn’t like Ohio’s issue.
Steve Mosier (MOH’-sher) of Cincinnati also says he doesn’t like the way the Ohio initiative is structured. He expects marijuana will eventually be legal, saying it’s less destructive to society than alcohol or cigarettes.
Twenty-two-year-old University of Cincinnati student Natalie McClorey says she doesn’t like the grower part, but voted “yes” because it’s progress. She thinks most students would vote the same — if they’ll go out and vote.
Election officials in two of Ohio’s counties say lines of voters dwindled some after an early wave of Ohioans who cast their ballots early in the state’s general election.
An elections board official in Ohio’s most populous county says voting in Cuyahoga County slowed later Tuesday morning after the usual early morning rush. Spokesman Mike West said no problems had been reported at the county’s 395 polling places and absentee and early voting numbers were at expected levels. But West says a warm, sunny day could help boost turnout at the polls.
Thirty percent of registered voters in the county, which includes Cleveland, voted in the November 2013 general election.
Poll workers at a church on the east side of Columbus in Franklin County said they had a line out the door when polls opened there. But workers say it had thinned out by midmorning.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) says more than 383,000 of the nearly 484,000 absentee ballots requested in this year’s general election have been cast as voters head to the polls.
Husted said an informal survey of Ohio’s 88 county boards of election as of Tuesday morning showed the majority of the absentee ballots cast were returned by mail and the rest in person.
Husted said there was still time to drop off absentee ballots. Voted ballots can be delivered in person to boards of elections through the close of the polls Tuesday. They may not be returned at polling locations.
Polls close at 7:30 p.m.
A small but steady stream of voters cast their ballots at an elementary school in the northern Cincinnati suburb of West Chester in the first hour after polls opened Tuesday in Ohio in the state’s general election.
An Ohio mother from West Chester said she voted no on Issue 3. That ballot question would legalize marijuana for both recreational and medical use. Forty-year-old Beth Zielenski said she thought a lot of things need to be worked out first on regulation. Zielenski says the possibility of legalization “does worry me.”
Forty-seven-year-old Timothy Shearer said he voted yes on Issue 3 and doesn’t think it would cause more problems. Shearer described himself as a “military guy” who has never used marijuana. But he says he thinks people should have the right to choose.
Polls have opened in Ohio as voters decide on ballot issues including one that would legalize marijuana for both recreational and medical use and one involving a legislative redistricting overhaul.
Election sites opened their doors at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. Polls remain open until 7:30 p.m.
Turnout is expected to be low as early presidential politicking has largely overshadowed 2015 campaigns.
The ballot question on marijuana would allow Ohio to become the first state to legalize it for both recreational and medical use in a single stroke. But opponents are hoping a separate measure aimed at nullifying the idea will succeed.
The redistricting measure would establish a new system for drawing state legislative districts in the battleground state.
A ballot question would allow Ohio to become the first state to legalize marijuana for both recreational and medical use in a single stroke. But opponents are placing their hopes in a separate measure aimed at nullifying the idea.
A redistricting overhaul rounds out a trio of statewide ballot issues before voters Tuesday. Turnout is expected to be low as early presidential politicking has largely overshadowed 2015 campaigns.
Issue 1, the redistricting measure, would establish a new system for drawing state legislative districts in the battleground state. It’s intended to reduce partisan gerrymandering by giving the minority party more power in making 10-year maps.
Issue 2 bans constitutional monopolies and specifically targets 10 exclusive marijuana growing sites created by Issue 3, the pot-legalization amendment.