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Elections

The Latest: Ohio OKs expanded rights for crime victims

  • Election-Ohio

    A voter fills out his ballot at a polling station at the University of Cincinnati, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Cincinnati. Ohio voters will decide ballot issues on Tuesday that would place limits on drug prices and expand victims' rights in criminal proceedings, along with several mayoral races. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    AP

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on Ohio's election (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

Ohioans have voted to expand crime victims' rights to more closely match those of the accused.

Approval of Issue 1 Tuesday places the new guarantees into the state constitution. They include notice of court proceedings, input on plea deals and the ability for victims and their families to tell their story.

Dubbed Marsy's Law for Ohio, the measure was championed by California billionaire Henry Nicholas, whose sister was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend.

The campaign had spent $16.5 million as of mid-October on its effort, which included an ad featuring "Frazier" actor Kelsey Grammer.

The effort faced no organized opposition. However, the state public defender, the state prosecuting attorneys' association and the ACLU all raised concerns over unintended consequences and urged Ohioans to vote "no."

8:15 p.m.

Ohio voters have rejected a ballot measure seeking to curb prescription drug prices paid by the state for prisoners, injured workers and poor people.

The campaign fight over Issue 2, dubbed the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, was the most expensive in state history.

The measure would have required the state to pay no more for prescription drugs than the Department of Veterans Affairs' lowest price, which is often deeply discounted.

The pharmaceutical industry spent more than $50 million to oppose the measure, saying it would reduce access to medicines and raise prices for veterans and others.

Supporters, led by the California-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, spent close to $20 million in support, saying it would save the state millions and could force the industry to reduce prices elsewhere.

10:40 a.m.

Ohio's elections chief says fewer absentee ballots were requested ahead of Tuesday's election than for an equivalent election cycle two years ago, but more of those ballots have been cast.

Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted) says almost 450,000 Ohioans had requested absentee ballots as of Monday, and over 385,000 of them had been cast.

He says that compares to nearly 484,000 absentee ballots requested and over 383,000 cast by the comparable point in the 2015 election.

Three state issues were on the ballot that year. This year, there are two.

Absentee ballots returned by mail had to be postmarked by Monday. Voters still can return completed absentee ballots by hand-delivering them to their local elections boards before the polls close at 7:30 p.m.

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8:40 a.m.

The secretary of state's office says polling places around Ohio opened for voting without any reports of major problems on Tuesday morning.

Election directors in parts of northeastern Ohio had relocated some polling sites after a severe storm over the weekend caused power outages across the region.

Ohio voters are deciding ballot issues that would place limits on drug prices and expand victims' rights in criminal proceedings.

Issue 1 is meant to expand crime victims' rights. Opponents say such laws elsewhere have had unintended, negative consequences.

Issue 2 aims to cut prescription drug prices for the poor, injured workers and prisoners. Opponents say it could reduce access and raise some prices.

Several mayoral races also will be decided in this election.

The polls are open until 7:30 p.m.

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12:10 a.m.

Ohio voters will decide ballot issues on Tuesday that would place limits on drug prices and expand victims' rights in criminal proceedings, along with several mayoral races.

Issue 1 is meant to expand crime victims' rights. Opponents say such laws elsewhere have had unintended, negative consequences.

Issue 2 aims to cut prescription drug prices for the poor, injured workers and prisoners. Opponents say it could reduce access and raise some prices.

While low voter turnout is typical in off-year elections, early voting figures in some counties indicate voter interest is higher than normal, particularly in city elections with incumbents facing spirited challenges.

Democrats have continued to do well in large urban areas, while Republicans have dominated recent statewide votes led by Donald Trump's presidential win last year.

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