Official: 35 local races decided by 1 vote

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's top election official is stressing the importance of voting after a review of election results found a number of nail-biting contests in 2013.

Watchdog group, Ohio reach deal over voter rolls

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A conservative watchdog group has reached an agreement with Ohio's elections chief in a lawsuit that claimed the state was failing to maintain accurate voter registration lists.

The complaint from the Washington, D.C.-based Judicial Watch had alleged that certain Ohio counties had more registered voters than their total voting-age populations. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Columbus in August 2012 also claimed Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted) failed to take reasonable steps to maintain clean voter rolls as required by federal law.

The parties agreed to settle on Friday.

A spokesman for Husted says the settlement formalizes the office's current practices. For instance, under the terms, Ohio agrees to let voters change their addresses online and encourages updated registration information.

The agreement will expire Nov. 10, 2018.

Secretary of State Jon Husted said of the 110 recounts following the Nov. 5 election, 35 local races and eight local issues were decided by one vote or through breaking a tie.

Voters picked mayors and township trustees, along with city or village council and school board members. They also decided local tax matters.

Husted, a Republican, will be up for re-election this fall. He said in a written statement that the results prove that each vote can make a difference.

Husted said the close races also reinforce the need to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat in Ohio.