UPDATE: Portman wins re-election to U.S. Senate in Ohio

Published: Nov. 8, 2016 at 7:18 PM EST
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The Latest on Ohio voting and election issues (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Ohio Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has won re-election over Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland in a race Democrats once considered a good opportunity to pick up a Senate seat.

Portman ran a savvy and well-funded campaign that kept Strickland on the defensive and kept Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a distance leading up to Tuesday's election.

Portman's campaign branded Strickland "Retread Ted" and highlighted Ohio's economic struggles, which saw 350,000 jobs lost during Strickland's governorship. Strickland blamed the Great Recession and said he had started the state's recovery.

Portman didn't campaign with Trump and withdrew his endorsement of him when a 2005 tape of Trump making lewd comments about kissing and groping women surfaced weeks ago.

Portman served in the administrations of Republican former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.


7:10 p.m.

A central Ohio elections board says several polling locations have had power problems on Election Day, though voting wasn't interrupted.

Spokesman Aaron Sellers of the Franklin County Board of Elections says voting continued on paper ballots at the sites in Columbus and Obetz. He says any voting issues were quickly resolved.

Sellers says additional paper ballots were delivered to precincts with heavy voter turnout.

Voter advocates manning an election protection hotline in Ohio say they've heard reports of "typical problems," such as questions about provisional ballots, but no major issues.

Carrie Davis of the League of Women Voters of Ohio says hotline callers asked questions about what identification to bring to polls and where to vote. She says some callers also reported isolated complaints of intimidation that were quickly resolved.


4:55 p.m.

Donald Trump is getting at least a little support in Parma, long known as a Democratic stronghold in suburban Cleveland.

Fifty-three-year-old Rose Noah says she's been a registered Democrat for years but switched to the Republican side this year and voted for Trump on Tuesday. She explains her decision this way: "I'd rather pick crazy than a liar."

Forty-five-year-old Katheryn Evitts says she also switched from Democrat to Republican and voted for Trump. She says she supported Hillary Clinton early on but felt like the Democratic candidate flat-lined and offered no new ideas.

Polls in Ohio close at 7:30 p.m., though anyone in line to vote at that point would still be allowed to cast a ballot.


3:55 p.m.

An election official in southwest Ohio says a polling place lost power for over an hour but voting there wasn't affected.

Warren County Board of Elections director Brian Sleeth says the Tuesday afternoon outage also affected the board's office. He says backup generators were brought to each location in Lebanon, and the outage had minimal impact. He says voting continued and was "just a little darker than usual."

Afternoon voters saw darker skies, too, as a line of rainfall stretching from Cincinnati to Cleveland moved across the state. Weather forecasts indicated possible rain across Ohio in the last few hours of voting.

Polls in Ohio close at 7:30 p.m. Voters are casting ballots for the presidential election, a U.S. Senate race, congressional and state legislative races and local school issues.


1 p.m.

Two voters who both think Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would bring change to the country disagree on whether that would be good or bad.

A Columbus Republican who describes himself as a conservative said he voted for Trump on Tuesday as someone who could get things done. Carl Cray said he supports Trump's proposal to build a wall along the border with Mexico. The 62-year-old retired newspaper press operator said change is needed in Washington.

Registered independent Michael Emmerich voted Tuesday in suburban Cleveland for Democrat Hillary Clinton. The 45-year-old commercial pilot said his vote was mostly against Trump because he prefers the status quo to the kind of change Trump would bring.

Emmerich said the Republican candidate is "completely unqualified" to lead the country.


12:15 p.m.

The state's elections office says Tuesday turnout appears to be robust across Ohio with relatively few problems.

Matthew McClellan, a spokesman for Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted), said it's too soon to say if turnout will break any records since the reporting so far is anecdotal.

McClellan says county election boards have troubleshooters lined up in case of any issues during the day.

Lines at several polling places around the state were long beginning first thing Tuesday.

Ohio voters were casting ballots in the presidential election, in a U.S. Senate race, in congressional and state legislative races and several local school issues.


10:15 a.m.

Two Democrats in Columbus chose opposing presidential candidates when they cast their votes Tuesday.

Democrat Joseph Baljak crossed party lines to vote for Republican Donald Trump. Joseph Baljak owns a small construction company and said he voted for Trump because of his business background. The 61-year-old Baljak said the country needs a president who will focus on doing the job and not on politics. He said the country needs a change.

Sixty-eight-year-old Jessica Porterfield voted for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. She called the long campaign "a nightmare" and worried about what would happen if Trump didn't win. She said she was concerned about possible riots if Trump lost.


9:15 a.m.

A registered Democrat in suburban Cleveland who cast his ballot for Hillary Clinton said he is worried about unrest in the country.

Sixty-two-year-old Patrick McMillion cast his ballot Tuesday in Euclid, where morning voting was reported steady. The retired engineer says he thinks people are looking for an answer to issues facing the country, but don't where to look.

McMillion said he chose Clinton because he thinks she has better ideas about how to create jobs. But he said he also considered Republican Donald Trump before deciding on the Democratic candidate. He says he thinks she will win the presidential race, but it won't be a landslide victory.


7:15 a.m.

Polls are open in Ohio as voters cast ballots in the U.S. presidential election and the race for one of Ohio's U.S. Senate seats among other contests.

Ohio election sites opened at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday with some long lines reported in areas including Cincinnati and Cleveland. Polls in the battleground state close at 7:30 p.m.

Election officials in Cuyahoga County are taking precautions to deal with any problems that might occur at polling places.

County Board of Elections Director Pat McDonald said Monday he's been in contact with officials from the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He also has asked the county sheriff's office to reactivate a special response team created for July's Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

McDonald says local police departments are also prepared to respond if needed.


1:00 a.m.

The day Ohio residents and voters across the U.S. cast final ballots in one of the most unusual, contentious, colorful and crazy presidential elections in recent memory is here.

As usual, the battleground state has been in the spotlight.

The state attracted dozens of visits by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump or their surrogates. That included stops by Democratic President Barack Obama, Trump family members, Democratic former President Bill Clinton and celebrities including Sally Field and Jay Z.

Ohio also delivered a primary victory to Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) and saw Cleveland host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The U.S. Senate race between Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland was among the most expensive Senate contests of the year.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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