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Ohio voters defeat issue on judge age, approve exemption from 'Obamacare'

Although Issue 2 failed by a landslide within Athens County, other statewide issues were decided by much closer margins.

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

Athens County rejected the issue with 9,632 votes against and only 5,217 votes for, according to unofficial Athens County numbers.

Statewide, the issue was rejected with 2,036,080 votes against and 1,246,535 votes for with all state precincts reporting.

Republican Randy Morris, who lost the mayoral race to Democrat Paul Wiehl, said he favored 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 the rejection of Issue 1 but did not have an opinion on it.

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

The issue was approved statewide with 2,221,175 votes for and 1,163,276 votes against with all  state precincts reporting.

Because the issue passed, Ohioans do not have to follow the federal health care mandate in the Affordable Care Act, commonly dubbed “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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