Statewide Races In The Hands Of Ohioans

November 5, 2002

Polls across the Buckeye State are open and throughout the day, Ohioans will decide who will occupy the governorís mansion and other key statewide races.

Voters will decide the outcome of all of Ohioís statewide elected offices, including Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of State and Treasurer. Additionally, Ohioans will decide on two Ohio Supreme Court seats, a proposed constitutional amendment, numerous local issues and who will represent them in Congress and at the Statehouse.

The Ohio Secretary of Stateís office estimates a 47 percent turnout. Thatís equal to 3.3 million Ohioans going to the polls. In the last gubernatorial election in 1998, 50 percent of Ohioans participated.

One issue that may be a factor in turnout is weather. Rain is expected to hit western Ohio late Tuesday morning, and cross the state throughout the afternoon.

Most statewide polls show Republicans leading Democrats in all elections for statewide office. An Ohio Poll released by the University of Cincinnatiís Institute for Public Research shows Governor Bob Taft with a 58 percent to 39 percent lead over challenger Tim Hagan, a former Cuyahoga County Commissioner. Independent candidate John Eastman garnered 3 percent of responses.

In the races for Supreme Court seats, the poll found Maureen O'Connor leading Tim Black, 58 percent to 42 percent. Justice Evelyn Stratton also leads Janet Burnside, 54 percent to 45 percent.

A separate poll released Sunday by The Columbus Dispatch found Issue 1 is likely to fail by a large margin. Issue 1 is a constitutional amendment that would require judges to sentence non-violent drug offenders to treatment, instead of jail time.

Polls across Ohio close Tuesday night at 7:30. For complete coverage of races around the state, tune into ONN Tuesday night.

For more information on races throughout Ohio, visit the Secretary of Stateís office online at

© Dispatch Productions, Inc., 2002. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.


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