8:10 The first set of ballots arrives at the Portage County Board of Elections. Each of the county’s 131
precincts is issued a red bag filled with supplies for the day of voting, while the yellow bag is used to
transport the ballots and computer memory cards from the voting machines. Volunteers and precinct
poll workers carry in the bags to be counted by other workers.
8:45 The line of bag handlers stretches down the hallway of the PCBOE. “Everything in the board of
elections is done with one Republican and one Democrat,” says a worker for the board of elections. “The
people who bring the bags back from the polling locations are one Democrat and one Republican.”
Pairing these workers helps to ensure that the results are collected fairly. These judges volunteer to
dedicate the whole day (7 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.) to the county’s election.
9:15 All but a handful of precincts have turned in their results bags. In the PCBOE cafeteria, the results
from the first 10 precincts are posted. A group of a half dozen local citizens pour over the sheets of
paper showing Strickland, Cordray, Clyde and Kline in the lead with 9.7% of the votes counted so far.
10:02 Results from 62 precincts are officially posted, and the cafeteria group chatters about the success
of the Streetsboro school levies. “I want my son to have the best education he can get,” says Donna
Descenzo, the mother of a fourth grader in the district “If this levy fails, he’s really going to be hurting.”
They also comment on the tight county commissioner race. With 47.3% of the county’s votes in, Marsilio
leads the race by just .06% of the votes.
The event was private to members of the Portage County Tea Party, which sponsored the party in the Student Center Ballroom to reward its volunteers for working on the campaign.
Tom Zawistowski hovered around the door, greeting attendees by first name with hugs and handshakes.
“This is (the Tea Party’s) first time at the rodeo,” he said. “We don’t really know what to expect. We do know we have to get out as citizens because it’s our duty.”
Zawisowski said the Portage County Tea Party’s attracted 345 people to its first rally July 11, 2009.
He says the organization now counts 1,850 residents among its ranks.
Attendees milled around a buffet and chatted at round tables while Fox News played on the Ballroom’s enormous projector screen.
Richard Schaack, who owns Davey Industries (no connection to Davey Tree in Kent) and Lariat Machine in Ravenna, has been a member for six months.
He volunteered for County Auditor Janet Esposito and Tommie Jo Marsilio, candidate for county treasurer. He said character is key when it comes to choosing candidates.
“They’re both good people,” he said. “I’m on two committees with Janet, the Salvation Army Advisory Committee and the Habitat For Humanity. And Tommie Jo did pro bono legal work for the Habitat, saving us a small fortune.”
“These are the kinds of people you want in office,” he said.
O'Donnell shocked the party establishment by beating former Delaware Governor Mike Castle in the primary earlier this year.
Elsewhere across the country, Republican Rand Paul is projected by CNN to be the winner in Kentucky's senate race. Democratic opponent Jack Conway was criticized by members of his own party after launching an attack ad on Paul.
Rob Portman wins senate race, CNN projects |
November 2 - 7:35 pm
CNN just projected that Rob Portman will become Ohio's next senator. The news doesn't come as much of a surprise - Democratic challenger Lee Fisher has been behind in the polls for weeks.
"Congratulations, it's about time we had a Republican."
Kent resident Heather Morrone said she'd say to newly elected
After voting, former KSU professor Gordon Keller said he would ask the new Governor, "How tough was the fight for higher education?"
"Just need to get the economy straightened out. People need to be more acountable for themselves. We've done nothing but go downhill since sending jobs out of the country. This outsourcing needs to quit. We are never going to recover if they don't stop that. And we are in bad enough shape as it is," said Kathy Hendershot
"When is school funding going to be fixed?" asked Erin Levicky, a Kent resident.
"How would he try to keep jobs in Ohio?" asked Vicki Broaddus, a Kent resident.
"How is he going to reconcile the problems with the funding of the state?" asked Benjamin Childres, a Kent resident.
Sherie Spencer, senior Pan-African studies major, said she'd ask the newly elected governor what his thoughts for higher education are.
Voters concerned about the economy |
November 2 - 2:00 pm
Big flashing digital signs in front of both the Kent United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church said in red letters "VOTE TODAY, Please park and come in from the back."
At 11:05 a.m. there were no voters present in a large room of six electronic voting machines and six volunteers. Claire Culleton, one of the poll workers, said that there had been approximately 40 plus voters throughout the day.
Sheryl Gardner, a retired teacher from Gallup, New Mexico, said that it was more important than ever to vote now because of the issues everyone is facing. Such issues include the economy and education.
"We're going downhill," Gardner said. "People are doing better for one another than leaders are doing with us."
Gardner didn't reveal who she voted for, but that she votes for person rather than a party. She said she receives information regarding voting from listening to radio programs such as Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, and local news stations.
Registered back home? You can still vote |
November 2 - 1:23 pm
Students who are registered to vote outside of Portage County can still vote in today's election. If willing to declare Portage County as their new home, students should bring something to verify their local address to the polling place associated with their current address.
Polls remain empty at the Rec |
November 2 - 9:02 am
No one in line at the polling station at the KSU Recreation and Wellness Center. Poll workers said they saw maybe 7 or 8 voters in an hour and half. No lines at Kent Church of the Nazarene. Voters are "in and out in no time."
At the Kent State University's Wellness Center or the Rec, there was no line at all. There were six people voting and four volunteers around 8:30 a.m.
A sign on the wall said Voters had the option to use the touch screen machines or vote on paper ballots. There were a nine electronic voting stations available.
Josh Filla, second-year Graduate Student and in the Masters of Public Administration program, said, " I voted for Democrats because it takes more than two years to reverse poor policies."
Paris Phifer, a freshman at KSU and Education major, said that he voted Democrat mainly because of his parents being Democrat- "Everyone has their chance to make a little change."
Deb Saito, the Presiding Judge, said that two years ago there was a long line when they first opened up. This year soon as they opened up there wasn't a long line at all.
Students and members of the community came through a back door to vote. Some people also came from the front doors of the center.
Education costs: What's going to happen after today? |
November 2 - 12:52 am
John Kasich had the lead over Gov. Ted Strickland in the final hours of Ohio’s gubernatorial campaign, causing uncertainty about the future of higher education. According to Sunday’s Columbus Dispatch poll, Kasich, a Republican, was ahead by 2 points before polls opened at 7:30 a.m.
Junior guard Jamilah Humes turned in a career performance Saturday, leading the Kent State women’s basketball team to an 80-71 victory over Northern Illinois.
Humes, who registered a career-high 11 assists earlier last week against Central Michigan, posted another career landmark with 33 points and led the Flashes with nine rebounds over the Huskies.
After trailing at the half, the Flashes came out strong after the break and took a 44-43 lead with 14:21 to go. There were seven lead changes before Kent State made a 10-0 run capped off with a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jena Stutzman.
Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said he was impressed with his team’s work ethic, which included a plus-6 rebound margin.
“I thought we played really hard, and I thought we made some big plays to get the lead in the game,” Lindsay said. “It was a good win for us.”
Despite playing without junior forward Taisja Jones for the majority of the first stanza because of foul trouble, Kent State (13-7, 6-2 Mid-American Conference) narrowed the deficit to five at the half.
Humes recorded 12 of the team’s first 18 points to prevent the Huskies from taking advantage of the loss of Jones.
Jones recovered from her time on the bench in the second half by scoring 11 of the Flashes’ first 17 points in the second half and finished with 20 points. Jones said she was devastated in the game’s early minutes and wanted to aid the team down the stretch.
“I didn’t want to let my team down,” Jones said. “I was just trying to spark something. Once I started scoring, it helped everyone else around me.”
Kent State shot 34 percent in the first half but recovered in the second by shooting 68 percent from the field. The Flashes won the effort battle down low with a plus-8 rebound margin and limited Northern Illinois (8-12, 2-6 MAC) to two field goals in the game’s final 4:35.
“I thought our effort was a little bit better,” Lindsay said. “I’ve been talking to our team lately about winning the battle of effort before we start worrying about anything else; I don’t think we did that in the first half, but in the second half, we did a much better job of it.”
The Flashes will look to extend their winning streak to five on Wednesday when the team hosts Toledo at 7 p.m.
Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at