Nearly two months away from November’s general election and voters in Ohio seem to be concerned with two aspects of politics. Priority one is the economy, but also voting rights are an issue with Ohio voters thanks to a recent court ruling. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are in a virtual tie in a new survey released Monday.
* Newt Gingrich was in Tampa, Fla., for the Republican National Convention. His purpose was to teach delegates how to talk enthusiastically with citizens regarding Republican platforms. One of those platforms is domestic energy production. WKSU reports Gingrich shared his vision of America’s energy independence thanks to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Gingrich was pressing his fellows to talk about energy policy as a means to spur the American economy as outlined in Romney’s massive plan for energy independence by 2020.
* The Kent State University public radio station also spoke to Kellyann Conway of Polling Group Inc. Conway revealed Ohioans purportedly back a candidate who supports more drilling for energy needs. The margin was 70 percent to 24 percent. Ohio’s delegates will be delivering their pro-drilling message to the rest of the GOP at the convention.
* A federal judge blocked an Ohio law Monday that prevents the counting of provisional ballots when mistakes are the fault of local election officials. Ohio rejected 14,000 such ballots in 2008 because they were cast in the wrong precinct. Yet the mistake was deemed to be on the part of election officials as opposed to voters.
* Ohio’s law automatically rejects provisional ballots if they are cast in the wrong place. U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley issued his ruling when he said, according to the Los Angeles Times, “The Constitution demands a safety net without holes.”
* The Washington Post further explains Marbley’s ruling. The judge also claimed, “Any potential threat to the integrity of the franchise, no matter how small, must therefore be treated with the utmost seriousness.”
* The Advancement Project sued to try to change the Ohio law. Secretary of State Jon Husted “disagreed” with the court’s ruling and will “likely appeal” the decision.
* A new poll from the Columbus Dispatch states Romney and Obama are tied at 45 percent apiece. There are 10 percent of voters who are independents and have not yet decided for whom to vote.
* The Hill states the new Dispatch poll is closer than two other surveys done earlier. A Quinnipiac Poll showed Obama ahead by six points. A University of Cincinnati poll revealed Obama had a three percent margin. The Hill also claimed Obama held a two-point lead over Obama among an average of all polls.
* Husted is also expected to rule Tuesday on the fate of two election board members from southwest Ohio, according to the Associated Press. Thomas Ritchie Sr. and Dennis Lieberman were suspended from the Montgomery County Board of Elections following their move to extend early voting hours.