Aid group: Ships not willing to save Mediterranean migrants
By FRANCES D’EMILIO
Sunday, August 12
ROME (AP) — Migrants in distress at sea have told their rescuers that several ships passed them by without offering assistance, a European aid group said Sunday while seeking safe harbor for a rescue vessel with 141 migrants aboard.
SOS Mediterranee said that due to the recent refusal of Italy and Malta to let rescue vessels carrying migrants dock, ships might be now unwilling to do rescues “due to the high risk of being stranded and denied a place of safety.”
On Friday the group’s chartered ship Aquarius, which it operates in partnership with Doctors Without Borders, rescued 141 people in waters off Libya. Of these, 25 were found adrift on a small wooden boat that had no motor and was believed to have been at sea for about 35 hours, the group said. The other 116 people, including 67 unaccompanied minors, were rescued later that day, it said.
Nearly three-quarters of those rescued originate from Somalia and Eritrea. Many migrants recounted how they were “held in inhumane conditions in Libya,” where human traffickers are based, the aid group aid.
It added that Libya’s rescue coordination authorities wouldn’t provide the Aquarius with “a place of safety” and asked it to request safe harbor from another country’s authorities.
The Aquarius was sailing north in the Mediterranean Sunday in hopes of receiving docking permission from another country.
“What is of utmost importance is that the survivors are brought to a place of safety without delay, where their basic needs can be met and where they can be protected from abuse,” the group quoted Nick Romaniuk, its search and rescue coordinator as saying. It said many aboard were very weak and malnourished.
In June, Aquarius was forced to sail north for days with more than 600 migrants to Spain after Italy and Malta refused it docking permission. Since then, other private rescue vessels have had to wait for days until some country agreed to let migrants disembark.
Italy’s new populist government has vowed that no more private aid ships will bring migrants to Italian shores.
Although arrivals in Italy of rescued migrants smuggled from Libya have sharply dropped off this year compared to previous years, some 600,000 reached Italian ports in the last few years. Italy demands fellow European Union countries take the asylum-seekers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The tiny EU island nation of Malta says it can’t handle large numbers of migrants.
Cargo and other commercial vessels often have plucked migrants to safety from deflating rubber dinghies and rickety wooden boats. But with Italy’s crackdown, commercial ships risk being blocked for days at sea, unable to carry out their business. Recently a support ship for an offshore oil platform was left in limbo for days after rescuing migrants.
SOS Mediterranee said the Libya rescue coordination center didn’t inform it about migrant boats in distress despite knowing the Aquarius was nearby.
“It was extremely fortunate that we spotted these boats in distress ourselves” on Friday, the group said.
Frances D’Emilio is on twitter at www.twitter.com/fdemilio
Living Off Campus? BBB Has Tips For College Students
Columbus, OH (August 8, 2018) – The fall semester is just around the corner for 50 plus college campuses in Central Ohio. Students are beginning to pack up and move, and for many who aren’t living in campus housing, that means living off campus with a landlord for the school year.
Whether you’re living alone for the first time or moving in with roommates, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and review the lease again prior to moving in. BBB has tips to help students be successful while renting.
Before You Move In
Check out rental companies at bbb.org to find relevant customer reviews or complaints. If you know residents who have lived there previously, ask them about their experience and if they’d recommend moving in.
Know your cosigners. Students will often combine friend groups or ask an acquaintance to live with them in order to fill a house. Make an effort to speak with and learn about your co-signers before you live in a shared space.
Figure out how you are going to pay your bills (utilities, cable, gas, etc). It may be that each resident is in charge of paying a different bill and then lets the others know how much they owe them. Paying bills can be complicated and stressful, so developing a plan early on is beneficial.
Determine how you’ll handle the cleaning. Who will be in charge of what? It could be helpful to make a cleaning schedule giving each house member a different duty.
Discuss rules regarding guests. What times are appropriate for visitors?
Moving Into an Apartment or House
Document your new home’s move-in condition. Note every flaw or defect on your move-in condition form so that you aren’t held responsible for those damages later.
Take photos of your apartment/house. Before you bring anything in, take photos of the floors, walls, appliances, windows and anything else you may be held liable for after you move out. The photos will help you have documentation available if a dispute were to arise between you and the landlord after moving out.
Keep a copy of your lease in a safe place that can easily be referenced.
Meet with your landlord and discuss lawn care expectations. How often are they going to mow the lawn, and will they supply salt and help shovel in the winter? What will you be responsible for?
Familiarize yourself with Ohio’s Tenant/Landlord Rights and Obligations.
Going on Vacation or Away for Break
Notify your landlord that you will be away, and let them know how long. They will need to know how to reach you if there is a problem, and can make sure to keep an eye on your apartment/home.
Leave your curtains opened to the amount you’d usually have them while at home. If they are completely open, anyone can clearly see no one is home. If they are closed, your home could look suspicious and your landlord would not be able to see inside if there is a problem.
Unplug appliances including your television, toaster, and desktop computer if you have one. This will protect your appliances from power surges and help save power. If you are going to be gone for an extended amount of time, like on a holiday break or vacation, consider taking your valuables with you. Do not leave laptops or other expensive electronics behind unattended. If possible, take televisions with you as well if you are going to be away for awhile.
Don’t leave your lights on. Your electric bill will be high and lights on at all hours of the night may look a little strange. Renters can consider purchasing a light switch timer that can be programmed to turn your lights on and off automatically. That way, if you forget to turn off your lights before leaving or going to bed, they will shut off automatically after a certain amount of time – saving energy and money.
If you are searching for last minute living arrangements, be able to identify the red flags of a rental scam:
The deal sounds too good to be true.
The landlord is located elsewhere and prefers to only communicate via email.
The landlord requires a substantial deposit before handing over the keys or even showing the property.
The landlord discloses the actual location of the property and won’t provide an address.
The landlord asks the renter to wire money.
For more information, follow your BBB on Facebook, Twitter, and at bbb.org.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2017, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Ohio, which was founded in 1921 and serves 21 counties in Central Ohio.
BBB Scam Spotlight: July 2018
Columbus, OH (August 7, 2018) – Each year, one in four North American households are scammed. Because money loss and identity theft can happen to anyone, BBB encourages community members to protect and inform others by reporting any scam-related experiences to BBB’s Scam Tracker.
In July, Central Ohio consumers reported over $15,600.00 lost to scams.
BBB analyzed 64 Scam Tracker reports from July 2018 to shed a spotlight on four scams affecting our Central Ohio community:
1. Online Purchase Scam: The most frequent type of scam reported was online purchases. One local woman ordered an item from makemeb.com in June, and was told her package was on the way. Over a month later, she had yet to receive her item. She was never given a tracking number, but when she contacted the company, was told her package was being held at a USPS facility. After searching for business reviews on Google, she found others have had similar experiences without ever receiving their orders.
2. Secret Shopper Scam: An Ohio woman applied for a secret shopper position online, then received a large check that included her compensation for evaluating Walmart, and extra funds to send a money transfer using the Walmart to Walmart system. After completing one of the transactions, the communications from the company became suspicious. The original check ended up being fake, leaving her accountable for paying the full amount back to her bank.
Always be cautious of work-from-home jobs, secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title such as caregiver, administrative assistant or customer service rep. When in doubt, don’t apply at the risk of losing your personal information or money. Job searching is difficult, and any company that says you can get a job, work from home, and quickly make large sums of money is most likely a job scam. When applying, do your homework, and make sure to research the business on bbb.org.
3. Identity Theft: A Gahanna, Ohio man received a call from his bank reporting someone in Florida had taken $10,000.00 from his checking account by stealing his debit card information. Fortunately, he was able to get the money back in his account after 45 days.
The scam was marked as Identity Theft, but could be classified as Credit Card Fraud as well. Losing card information can happen to anyone, but there are some precautions you can take to help better protect yourself. When you are out, only carry cards that you absolutely need. When you go to pay with a card, do not hold it clearly out in the open for a long period of time, and use your hand to cover up your PIN when typing it in.
Check your credit card and bank statements regularly to make sure there are no unauthorized charges. If you do notice something strange, contact your credit card company or bank immediately.
4. Phone Scams: The top means of scam contact this past month was through telephone calls. BBB would like to offer the following tips to help consumers combat scam calls:
Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. If the caller is legitimate, they will leave a voicemail. Even if a scammer chooses to leave a message, you can take time to determine if it is worth pursuing instead of being put on the spot.
Be wary of recorded messages telling you to press a number to be removed from the call list. Since pressing a button confirms that you have a working number, it is best to hang up.
Some scammers may call and impersonate trustworthy businesses, charities or even government agencies. The best way to avoid these types of scams is by hanging up, looking up the organization’s phone number and calling back to directly speak to a representative.
Visit DoNotCall.gov and join the ‘Do Not Call Registry’ to help lessen the number of calls you receive. Joining the registry will not completely stop scammers, but you should receive fewer calls.
Nomorobo.com offers an app for both landlines and cell phones to block any phone call that comes in as an automated or machine-made call.
Consumers are encouraged to report scams to BBB Scam Tracker to help protect others in the Central Ohio community.
Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018
BROWN OFFICE CONVENES ROUNDTABLE WITH SOUTHEAST OHIO VETERANS IN NEW PHILADELPHIA
Senator Sits on Senate Veterans’ Committee
NEW PHILADELPHIA, OH – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) Chief of Staff traveled to New Philadelphia today to meet with southeast Ohio veterans. Veterans from Tuscarawas, Holmes, and Carroll Counties attended the roundtable. Brown’s office will take the veterans’ priorities back to Washington, where the Senator sits on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“Our men and women in uniform answered the call to serve, and we have a responsibility to make sure they have everything they need to support their families, care for their health, and land good-paying jobs as they transition to civilian life,” said Brown.
As a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Brown has long fought to improve the lives of Ohio veterans. Some of his recent actions include:
· Securing provisions to improve healthcare for Ohio veterans and support for the people who care for them. Brown secured these provisions in the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Network (MISSION) Act. The bill was signed by President Trump last month. This legislation would:
o Expand caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras. Previously, comprehensive caregiver assistance and benefits were provided only to veterans injured on or after September 11, 2001, leaving family caregivers and veterans injured during World War II, the Korean, Vietnam and 1990-1991 Gulf War ineligible for this critical support (learn more)
o Give specific training to doctors outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system on how to address veterans’ unique medical needs (learn more)
o Ensure safe opioid prescribing practices for doctors and healthcare providers outside the VA system (learn more)
· Passing a provision as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act to better connect servicemembers with resources to secure quality education and good-paying jobs as they transition from military service to civilian life.
o The NDAA included a version of Senators Brown and Mike Rounds’ (R-SD) bipartisan legislation, the Better Access to Technical Training, Learning, and Entrepreneurship for Servicemembers Act (BATTLE for Servicemembers Act. Currently, the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) training covers a curriculum that includes sessions on veterans’ benefits, financial planning, and post-service employment. The comprehensive improvements to the TAP training will prepare servicemembers with the specific information they need related to employment, education, vocational training, or entrepreneurship.
· Securing a commitment from Secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, during his nomination process that he would oppose any efforts to privatize VA.
o In addition, Brown secured a commitment from Wilkie to work with his office regarding Agent Orange presumptive conditions, Blue Water Navy veterans’ eligibility for benefits, and establishing a process to diagnose constrictive bronchiolitis, a condition cause by burn pit exposure at VA.
· Passing an amendment to the Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act to track overpayments to veterans, which leads to veteran debt
o This legislation was inspired by a meeting with Massillon veteran James Powers concerning a VA overpayment mistake. This provision was based on his bipartisan bill, the Veterans’ Debt Fairness Act; Brown said he would continue fighting for full passage of this bill.
Brown is the longest-serving U.S. Senator from Ohio on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
BROWN URGES DEFENSE DEPT. TO HONOR POST-9/11 GI BILL TRANSFERABILITY TO MILITARY FAMILY MEMBERS
Friday, Aug. 10, 2018
Brown Joins Group of Senators Pushing Sec. Mattis to Oppose Policy that would Limit Servicemembers’ Ability to Transfer GI Benefits to Eligible Family Members
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today joined a group of Senators urging Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to oppose a new Trump Administration policy that would limit certain servicemembers’ ability to transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to eligible family members—changes that would hurt America’s military families.
Under the new policy only servicemembers with at least six years, but not more than 16 years, of total creditable service in the military would be eligible to transfer their unused education benefits to an eligible family member. This is a departure from the current policy, which does not place restrictions on transferability of education benefits for those with more than 16 years of service so long as the servicemember is eligible and agrees to serve four additional years of service from the date of election. Additionally, servicemembers who are not medically qualified to continue their military service could be ineligible to transfer their benefits, and the policy change counterintuitively punishes the men and women who have served this country in uniform for the greatest length of time.
“Though intended to promote recruitment and retention in the uniformed services, these policies institutionalize inequity among servicemembers who are subject to different eligibility considerations based on family and dependent circumstances. Because these changes are effective immediately, servicemembers may be precluded from making appropriate transferability arrangements if they cannot extend their current contract or reenlist to fulfill the four year additional service requirement based on their End of Active Service (EAS) date. These perverse and seemingly arbitrary retention policies must be subject to congressional scrutiny,” the Senators wrote in their letter.
Brown penned this letter to Secretary Mattis alongside Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Patty Murray (D-WA).
A copy of their letter can be found below and HERE.
Dear Secretary Mattis:
We write to express our opposition to recent Department of Defense (DOD) policy changes that limit servicemembers’ eligibility to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to eligible dependents. We are concerned that the new policies outlined in DOD Instruction 1341.13 are inconsistent with congressional intent, break our promise to military families, and sow confusion among servicemembers by moving the goalpost for transfer eligibility. We urge you to immediately make servicemembers aware of the implications of this policy order and request a staff-level briefing regarding the impetus and impact of the policy changes.
These recent policy changes exacerbate existing inequities in transfer of education benefits (TEB) eligibility. The requirement that servicemembers commit an additional four years of military service at the time of TEB application–rather than after six years of military service when servicemembers become eligible to apply–disadvantages servicemembers who marry or have children later in their military careers. It is also concerning that servicemembers with 10 years of service who are not medically qualified could be ineligible for TEB. This policy could potentially prevent a servicemember wounded in combat from transferring education benefits, including servicemembers with physical or cognitive disabilities that preclude them from using the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Additionally, the disqualification of servicemembers with more than 16 years of military service penalizes the men and women who have served this country in uniform for the greatest length of time, counterintuitively punishing the very servicemembers that DOD seeks to retain. Despite the Post-9/11 GI Bill being a substantial post-service education benefit, the transferability provision that allows career servicemembers to share their education benefits with immediate family members should be honored once a servicemember attains the milestone of 10 years in service, without incurring additional service obligations.
Though intended to promote recruitment and retention in the uniformed services, these policies institutionalize inequity among servicemembers who are subject to different eligibility considerations based on family and dependent circumstances. Because these changes are effective immediately, servicemembers may be precluded from making appropriate transferability arrangements if they cannot extend their current contract or reenlist to fulfill the four year additional service requirement based on their End of Active Service (EAS) date. These perverse and seemingly arbitrary retention policies must be subject to congressional scrutiny.
While we agree that maintaining robust force levels is critical to national security, additional information is needed to determine whether these policy changes will have a meaningful impact on a servicemember’s decision to continue his or her military career and how these changes will affect future recruitment and retention rates. The impetus for these policy changes–as well as any DOD recruitment and retention challenges–are unclear. We request a copy of the guidance DOD issued to notify Military Departments and servicemembers of these policy changes and urge you to ensure that these policy changes are implemented consistently across military services. Additionally, we request clarification regarding the circumstances under which an eligible servicemember might be unable to obtain transferability approval and whether DOD will use waivers to ensure that servicemembers have the opportunity to petition to overturn a transferability denial. These questions must be answered in a staff-level briefing to provide Congress with an opportunity to explore and assess these policy changes.
Most importantly, DOD must ensure that servicemembers who will have served for 16 years or more are aware that they must transfer education benefits before the policy changes go into effect on 12 July 2019 by providing transparent, accessible information regarding transferability eligibility to all servicemembers. DOD should be targeting outreach efforts to servicemembers who will be affected by transferability limitations, specifically servicemembers who will have served for more than 16 years on 12 July 2019. DOD shares a responsibility with the Department of Veterans Affairs to guarantee that all those who serve our country have access to quality education when they transition into civilian life or are afforded the opportunity, if eligible, to transfer their unused benefits to family members. We look forward to receiving additional information on this matter and scheduling a briefing for staff members.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
AG DeWine Announces Support of Measure to Reduce Barriers, Increase Accessibility of Crime Victims Fund
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
August 9, 2018
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today joined State Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) to announce a new bill that would update laws intended to help victims of crime and their families. The measure, SB322, would increase the accessibility of crime victims’ funds and increase the amount certain victims can receive.
“Too often when a crime is committed, others besides the victim are unintentionally harmed. This measure would acknowledge that those who witness a crime or are involved in the immediate aftermath suffer trauma as well,” said Attorney General DeWine. “This measure helps those victims heal, as well, by providing funds for mental health treatment or work loss.”
“This legislation would provide necessary reforms to ensure crime victims and their families receive support efficiently, effectively, and true to their needs,” said Senator Lehner. “I am proud to work with the Attorney General’s office to continue to strengthen our crime victims reparation program which already does so much to provide relief in the midst of tragedy.”
This measure would:
Recognize a new category of victim which would include a person who is not the direct victim of a crime, but experiences severe trauma and is either:
— a family member of the victim;
— witness to the crime;
— someone who arrives at the crime scene in the immediate aftermath; or
— an immediate family member and caretaker of a dependent victim of
Someone who meets these guidelines would be a “victim in their own right” and
could qualify for up to $15,000 for wages lost due to treatment and counseling.
Increase the maximum claim an immediate family member of a crime victim could receive to $5,000 for counseling services.
Allow someone to file a claim regardless of their criminal history, if they are filing on behalf of a minor victim as a parent or guardian.
Increase the accessibility of funds for victims by reducing the lookback period for criminal disqualification from 10 years to five years. However, this bill would defer payment of any person until the individual had fully completed their sentence.
The text of the bill is available on the Ohio General Assembly website.
For more information about the Crime Victims Compensation Fund and other services available for crime victims and victims service providers visit the Ohio Attorney General’s website at http://www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Individuals-and-Families/Victims.
Diana Powers Graduates from the University at Albany
ALBANY, NY (08/09/2018)— UAlbany congratulates Diana Powers of Powell, OH, who graduated with a Master of Science in Biometry and Statistics with the Class of 2018.
About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master’s, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.
Patrol’s Trooper Frost promoted to Sergeant in the Office of Logistics and Security Services
Ohio State Highway Patrol
August 10, 2018
COLUMBUS – Trooper Shon L. Frost was promoted to the rank of sergeant today by Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent, during a ceremony at the Patrol’s Training Academy. Sergeant Frost will transfer from his current assignment in the Office of Criminal Investigations to serve in the Office of Logistics and Security Services, Capitol Operations.
Sergeant Frost began his Patrol career in April 1998 as a member of the 131st Academy Class. He earned his commission in October of that year and was assigned to the Mansfield Post. In 2001, he earned the Ace Award for excellence in auto larceny enforcement. As a trooper, he also served at the West Jefferson Post, Office of Special Operations and in the Office of Criminal Investigations.
Sergeant Frost served in the United States Marines from 1994 to 1997.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is an internationally accredited agency whose mission is to protect life and property, promote traffic safety and provide professional public safety services with respect, compassion, and unbiased professionalism.
www.statepatrol.ohio.gov A division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety
Patrol’s Trooper Longo promoted to Sergeant at the Mt. Gilead Post
COLUMBUS – Trooper Bradley P. Longo was promoted to the rank of sergeant on June 10, 2018 and was recognized today by Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent, during a ceremony at the Patrol’s Training Academy. Sergeant Longo will transfer from his current assignment in the Office of Personnel, Training Academy to serve as an assistant post commander of the Mt. Gilead Post.
Sergeant Longo began his Patrol career in September 2012 as a member of the 153rd Academy Class. He earned his commission in February of the following year and was assigned to the Milan Post. In 2016, he was selected as Post Trooper of the Year. As a trooper, he also served at the Granville Post and in the Office of Personnel, Training Academy.
Sergeant Longo earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Otterbein University in 2012 and a Master of Business Administration degree in executive management from Ohio University in 2015.
Patrol’s Lieutenant Tracy promoted to Staff Lieutenant in the Office of Planning and Finance
COLUMBUS – Lieutenant James E. Tracy was promoted to the rank of staff lieutenant on July 22, 2018 and was recognized today by Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent, during a ceremony at the Patrol’s Training Academy. Staff Lieutenant Tracy will transfer from his current assignment at the Cambridge Post to serve in the Office of Planning and Finance.
Staff Lieutenant Tracy began his Patrol career in September 2000 as a member of the 136th Academy Class. He earned his commission in March of the following year and was assigned to the Delaware Post. In 2005, he was select as Post Trooper of the Year and earned the Ace Award for excellence in auto larceny enforcement. He also earned the Criminal Patrol Award three times. In 2007, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and transferred to the St. Clairsville Post to serve as an assistant post commander. In 2011, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and transferred to the Cambridge Post to serve as post commander.
Staff Lieutenant Tracy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English from Youngstown State University in 2000 and a Master of Arts degree in criminal justice from Tiffin University in 2003. He completed advanced leadership training at Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command in 2011.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is an internationally accredited agency whose mission is to protect life and property, promote traffic safety and provide professional public safety services with respect, compassion, and unbiased professionalism.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Special Election Update: All Precincts Now Reporting Unofficial Results, Preparing for Official Canvass
Columbus – Secretary of State Jon Husted has announced that with 100 percent of precincts now reporting, unofficial results show 202,738 ballots cast with 37.23 percent turnout in the 12th Congressional District Special General Election. A detailed breakdown of the unofficial results is available at https://Vote.Ohio.gov/.
County boards of elections reported that 3,435 provisional ballots were cast and there were 5,048 outstanding absentee ballots. Under state law, boards of elections cannot begin counting these ballots until the 11th day after the election, August 18, when boards may begin the official canvass.
“The bipartisan teams of officials who administered today’s special election did so with the professionalism that has become the standard in Ohio,” Secretary Husted said. “This standard of professionalism will be upheld in the coming weeks as election officials begin the process of tabulating provisional and absentee ballots in order to certify the official election results.”
The procedures and deadlines for the official canvass are the same following every election and established by Title 35 of Ohio Revised Code.
Prior to election officials beginning the official canvass, voters who cast a provisional ballot because they did not provide proper ID at the polls can return to their county board of elections to provide an accepted form of ID so that their ballot may be considered for counting. This must be done by August 14.
Additionally, boards will continue to receive outstanding absentee ballots and provided they were postmarked by August 6, and received by August 17, they will be eligible to be counted. Military and overseas ballots are not required to have a postmark to be counted; however, they must be received by August 17.
Also prior to the start of the official canvass, board of elections staff will begin to sort provisional ballots, but they cannot be opened or counted. The four appointed members of each board of elections – two Republicans and two Democrats – will determine which provisional ballots are eligible in a public meeting. Board of elections staff will check to make sure all information required by law has been provided on the provisional ballot envelope, which includes the voters printed name, signature and identification.
During the official canvass ALL eligible provisional and absentee ballots cast WILL be counted.
Once the official canvass has been completed by every county, which must be done by August 24, the most populous county board of elections – Franklin County – will certify the official results. At that point in time, if the result margin is equal to or less than one-half of one percent (.5 percent), an automatic recount is triggered. In a multi-county district race, like the 12th Congressional District, the Secretary of State orders the recount.
A county-by-county breakdown of outstanding absentee ballots, provisional ballots cast and overall ballots cast is available by going to the unofficial results website, https://Vote.Ohio.gov/, and clicking on the “Ballots Cast” tab.
Official Canvass: Tabulation of all eligible ballots cast that includes absentee, Election Day and provisional ballots. County boards of elections cannot begin this process until August 18 and must have it completed by August 24. This process also involves the validation of the outcomes that form the basis of the official certified results.
Provisional Ballots: Ballots cast by voters whose identity and/or eligibility could not be verified. These are not part of the unofficial canvass on election night.
Absentee Ballots: Includes all ballots cast prior to Election Day outside of Election Day polling locations: Absentee ballots cast by mail; absentee ballots cast in-person prior to Election Day, and military and overseas ballots cast either by mail or in-person prior to Election Day. Those received prior to Election Day are tabulated as part of the unofficial canvass on election night.
Outstanding Absentee Ballots: This includes ballots sent to voters but not yet returned and ballots returned with incomplete identification envelopes that the voter may correct in the 10 days following the election. If postmarked by August 6 and received by August 17, these ballots are eligible to become part of the official canvass.
August 7, 2018
HMP Statement on OH-12 Special Election
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority PAC released the following statement regarding the current narrow margin in the OH-12 special election:
“While votes are still being counted and a final result is still to be determined, what’s clear is that Danny O’Connor has managed to achieve what once seemed impossible by putting into contention a deep red district with deep Republican roots,” said House Majority PAC Executive Director Charlie Kelly. “Republicans have held this seat for over 30 years. It shouldn’t even be close. The fact that it stands on a razor’s edge – is a credit to O’Connor’s grassroots campaign and to the energy that Democrats are seeing all across the country. And the fact that Republicans have near abandoned talking about what they once touted as the signature policy proposals that would save them – health care and taxes – even in what should be an easy to win district for their party – has only exposed their economic agenda as a total disaster. After spending millions struggling just to hang on in OH-12, Republicans should be terrified. Whatever the final result in this special election, the battlefield next expands nationwide to a map that includes dozens of Republican-held seats with far more competitive landscapes.”
A catastrophic night for House Republicans
Barely hanging on in a district that a Democrat hasn’t won since Jimmy Carter was president:
Former Romney Chief Strategist Stuart Stevens: “I’ve worked in Ohio presidential and senate races for Republicans and the idea of #oh12 being a close race is sort of like hearing gravity is a regional phenomena. It’s not how the world is suppose to work.” [Twitter, 8/7/2018]
Dave Wasserman, Cook Political Report: “If anything, tonight’s #OH12 result reinforces our view that Dems are substantial favorites to retake the House in November.” [Twitter, 8/7/2018]
Columbus Dispatch: “…there was a dark cloud to the silver lining. In the nation’s final congressional election before November, the race was very tight in what has traditionally been a no-contest district for Republicans.” [Columbus Dispatch, 8/7/2018]
Kyle Kondik, University of Virginia Center for Politics: “It’s one more piece of evidence amidst a lot of others that this is a good environment for Democrats, and it provides some opportunities to the party in the fall…This is a continuing trend in what we’ve seen in special elections so far.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/8/2018]
University of Cincinnati Political Science Professor David Niven: “It speaks to an enthusiasm gap that could render an awful lot of previously unwinnable districts in play.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/8/2018]
Cleveland Plain Dealer: “O’Connor had no reason to be as competitive as he did in a district that former Republican U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi held since 2000 and hasn’t elected a Democrat since 1982.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/8/2018]
Washington Post: “Almost any way you slice the numbers, Ohio’s 12th congressional district in the northern Columbus suburbs wasn’t supposed to be competitive for Democrats.” [Washington Post, 8/8/2018]
American Bridge 21st Century PAC.