Secretary of State Jon Husted

A three day statewide conference of boards of elections members and workers concludes today in Columbus, just as state lawmakers prepare to come back to the capital for their first full week of work in this new General Assembly.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has his own list of priorities for lawmakers, such as online voter registration, online requests for absentee ballots, uniform hours of operation for board of elections offices and new rules for provisional ballots.

“For reasonable people, there is nothing controversial here,” says Husted.

Almost 1.9 million Ohioans voted with an absentee ballot in last year's election - a record number for the perennial presidential battleground state.

Secretary of State Jon Husted released reports Wednesday showing that roughly 33 percent of the more than 5.6 million votes cast in the November election were from absentee ballots.  The early ballots accounted for about 30 percent of the overall votes cast in 2008.

Voters in Ohio can cast an absentee ballot early by mail or in person without giving any reason.

Ohio's elections chief has squelched rumors he might be preparing to challenge Gov. John Kasich in a Republican primary two years from now.

Secretary of State Jon Husted told reporters Thursday that if he runs for anything in 2014 it would be for re-election to his current job, where he oversees business filings and elections in the battleground state.

The 45-year-old Husted has served as state senator and speaker of the Ohio House. He's widely mentioned as an eventual contender for the governorship.    

Two ex-county elections officials fired by Ohio's Republican secretary of state have dropped their lawsuit against him after claiming they were unjustly terminated.

Democrats Dennis Lieberman and Thomas Ritchie Sr. filed a voluntary dismissal of their case Friday.  they were previously on the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

The decision comes after a federal judge last month denied their request to be reinstated to the board.  The judge ruled that among other issues, the ex-officials failed to identify that a fundamental right had been violated by their removal.

Ohio's elections chief says a federal judge's demand to come up with a new order regarding provisional ballots is even worse than a previous court demand.

Lawyers for Secretary of State Jon Husted have complained to a federal appeals court that the judge changed rules for provisional ballots after the election but before the ballots are counted beginning this weekend.

Husted's office asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday to reverse the decision by federal judge Algenon Marbley.

Find up to date results from throughout the state of Ohio.

Ohio's elections chief wants to see a judge's order requiring the state to count certain flawed provisional ballots thrown out.

In a filing Friday, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling last week made the consent decree unnecessary and it should be vacated.

The decree requires election officials to count votes cast provisionally using the last four digits of a voter's Social Security number then made defective by poll worker error.

It's now clear that early in person voting in the weekend just before Election Day is going to take place in Ohio after all. That’s because the nation’s highest court is not going to take up the appeal requested by the state to overturn a federal ruling that allows the 11th hour in person voting.

The Obama campaign has won its lawsuit to keep in place a federal court decision that allows in person voting hours on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before Election Day.  Ohio Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern is pleased with the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Voter rights groups in Ohio are raising questions about an order from the state's elections chief that bans local election boards from calling or emailing people about errors on their absentee ballots.

The directive from Secretary of State Jon Husted requires boards to notify voters by mail if their ballots are invalid. Voters would then need to appear at their board during office hours to address any problems. He's also told boards to provide accommodations for the disabled.

Voters in Ohio are getting their chance to cast an early ballot for president, U.S. Senate and other races.

Early voting for the Nov. 6 election starts today, with Ohioans able to vote by mail or in person without having to give a reason.

Ohio's elections chief Jon Husted says he's confident the state is prepared. He says local boards have received more than 922,000 absentee ballot applications as of Friday.

About 30 percent of Ohio's total vote - or roughly 1.7 million ballots - came in ahead of Election Day in 2008.

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