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Athens County rejects state Issue 1, approves Issue 3

Although Issue 2 failed by way of a landslide vote in Athens County, other statewide issues were decided by much closer margins.

Voters in Athens County rejected state Issue 1, which would have increased the maximum age at which a judge could be elected from 70 to 75.

The issue was rejected with 9,632 votes against and only 5,217 votes for, according to the unofficial Athens County numbers. Only 88 percent of the statewide numbers were available as of 11 p.m.

Republican Randy Morris, who lost the mayoral race to Democrat Paul Wiehl, said he was in favor of Issue 1's passing.

“I know some really good judges who will not be able to work once they turn 75,” Morris said.

Wiehl said he was surprised to hear about Issue 1 being rejected but did not have an opinion on it.

Issue 3 was approved with 7,959 votes for and 7,126 against, according to the unofficial Athens County numbers.

Because the issue passed Ohioans do not have to follow the federal health care mandate in the Afforadble Care Act, commonly derided as “Obamacare.”

Wiehl said he was disappointed about the issue passing and hopes it will be resolved in court. Newly elected Councilwoman Michele Papai, D-3rd Ward, also expressed distaste.

“I’m saddened by that, but I think it will be worked out in court,” Papai said.

State Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-92nd, matched the reactions of local officials about the issue's approval.

“Issue 3 is unconstitutional, and we don’t have the right to opt out of federal law,” she said, adding that she is concerned about its effects.

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