Voters Reject Issue 2

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Update 10:28 p.m.

State Representative Debbie Phillips (D-92nd District) calls the rejection of Issue 2 "a victory for the citizens of Ohio."

Phillips was a strong opponent of Issue 2.  She says the election result is a reflection of the hard work of Ohio's middle-class families.  "Senate Bill 5 went way too far.  It's clear people understood that.  We're lucky to have a referendum process in Ohio so that citizens can take charge if government leaders go too far," said Phillips.

Phillips says the legislature's focus now needs to be on jobs and finding opportunities for Ohioans to make the state stronger.


Update 10:07 p.m.

Ohio's governor says "the people have spoken" in rejecting the state's new law limiting the bargaining abilities of public union employees.
Gov. John Kasich says he's heard voters' voices, respects what they've said and will pay attention.
The overhaul would have banned strikes and limited the bargaining abilities of more than 350,000 unionized public workers.
Kasich had traveled the state to urge support for the law. He and his fellow Republicans had promoted the law as a means for local governments to save money and keep workers.
He cautioned local governments today that there is no bailout coming.
Opponents argued the limits offered little cost savings and were an unfair attack on public employees.


Update 9:43 p.m.

The Associated Press has called State Issue 2 as rejected by Ohio voters.  According to current numbers from the Secretary of State's office website, 62 percent of voters cast ballots against Issue 2, 38 percent cast ballots for Issue 2.

State Representative Andy Thompson (R-93rd District) says he knows the referendum on collective bargaining was a highly emotionally-charged issue.  Thompson was a strong supporter of Issue 2.  "I respect the results and the will of the voters.  I do think Ohio is not better off having defeated this because state and local government is really hurting financially," Thompson said.

Thompson said he believes the legislature will now go through the 300-plus page bill to find "bits and pieces" to put into play.  He says parts of the bill also exist in the state budget, such as performance-based pay for teachers.

"We will, in the state legislature, have to take these results seriously, but also look to see what we can do to help local and state government meet their needs," Thompson said.

Update 8:53 p.m.

Nearly an hour and a half after polls closed across the state of Ohio, the gap between votes for and against Issue 2, the referendum on collective bargaining, is slightly narrowing.

As of 8:00 p.m., 67 percent of the vote was against and 33 percent was for Issue 2.

Currently, numbers from the Secretary of State reflect a slightly narrower gap with 63 percent of the vote against and 37 percent of the vote for Issue 2. 

Update 8:19 p.m.

Votes against State Issue 2 continue to lead votes for Issue 2. 195,901 (no votes) to 98,384 (yes votes). 

Update 8:05 p.m.

As results trickle in, preliminary numbers on State Issue 2 show votes against (no) leading votes for (yes) 2 to 1.  As of this update, the Secretary of State's website lists 128,560 (67.15 percent) no votes and 62,900 (32.65 percent) yes votes. 

Update 7:45 p.m.

Just 15 minutes after polls closed across the state, the Ohio Secretary of State's office website is reporting 5,183 yes (for) votes and 8,960 no (against) votes on Senate Bill 5.

Voter turnout was reported to be steady to heavy in the Columbus, Ohio area, as voters decide the fate of a law limiting the bargaining abilities of 350,000 unionized public workers.

Supporters and opponents of the law continue to make themselves heard.
An email from President Barack Obama's re-election campaign urged Ohioans to oppose the law, and said the results will affect national politics.
Republican Gov. John Kasich continues to defend the law, saying it's key to saving jobs and helping Ohio's economy.
Among those waiting to vote at Ohio State University's student union was Rachel Schultz, the 18-year-old daughter of a police officer, who says her dad "deserves the right to negotiate on his stuff."
But a non-union nurse in suburban Cincinnati, Jane Boden, says public employees "should have to pay their fair share like the rest of us." She accuses public safety unions of using "fear tactics" to try to drum up opposition to the law.
The effort to turn back the bargaining law finds unions representing police, firefighters, teachers, prison guards and others facing off against Republicans at the Statehouse who want to reduce government costs.
Ohio voters are also deciding whether to let the state opt-out of a federal health insurance mandate, a decision that would have little legal impact.