Across Ohio, voters are headed to the polls today to determine the fate of Issue 2, a referendum on a controversial state law that limits the collective-bargaining rights of public employees.
Here’s a roundup of ongoing coverage of the vote on Issue 2 from around the Buckeye State:
From The Columbus Dispatch: Issue 2 is expected to drive voters to the polls at higher numbers than other non-presidential election years. Franklin County, which encompasses the greater Columbus area, reached a record number of absentee-ballot requests this year at more than 88,000. The Dispatch reports voter turnout is expected to be far higher than the 31 percent of registered voters that cast ballots in 2009.
From Ideastream: Our partner station in Cleveland examines the advertising campaigns mounted by pro-and-anti Issue 2 interest groups. Depending on the vantage point, Issue 2 will harm education. Or save it. It will bolster police forces. Or ruin them. Ideastream reporter Ida Lieszkovsky reports that the ads bring a lot of emotion to the issue, but little concrete information. “There’s usually some truth in there that they’re hanging it on, but sometimes there’s also quite a bit of reach to get the spin,” Robert Higgs, editor of PolitiFact Ohio tells Lieszkovsky.
From the Cincinnati Enquirer: The respective campaigns for and against Issue 2 and its legislative predecessor, Senate Bill 5, have taken perhaps an interesting turn in the final hours. Union opponents of the bill boldly spoke of defeating the referendum at a union hall in Hamilton County. “We are going to shove Senate Bill 5 down the throats of John Kasich and his ilk,” said Howard Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Firefighters.
In a speech to 300 Tea Party supporters in Eastgate, Gov. Kasich spoke for an hour Monday night. He didn’t mention Issue 2 until the final two minutes of his speech, according to The Enquirer.
From The Plain Dealer: The U.S. Justice Department has sent election observers to Lorain County today to ensure that county officials keep a commitment to provide Spanish-language ballots. Last month, the county’s Board of Elections agreed to provide the ballots as part of a lawsuit settlement with the DOJ. The Plain Dealer reports bilingual ballots and bilingual poll workers will be provided in targeted precints.
From Politico: Democrats were stung in Ohio in the 2010 elections, losing the governorship and five congressional seats. This year? They’re planning on using traction from the Issue 2 as a springboard into the national 2012 elections. James Hohmann writes, “Obama is still polling badly in Ohio, but his campaign has capitalized on perceived Republican overreach to bring recalcitrant liberals back into the fold.”