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Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced early this afternoon that he has certified the final vote tally from tomorrow’s Presidential election and that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the winner of his state’s 18 electoral votes. Officials in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida are expected to follow suit as soon as Tuesday morning.

Reading from a prepared statement, Husted told reporters, “Because this may very well be the most important election in our nation’s history, I believe it would have been the height of irresponsibility to have waited until the last minute before certifying the vote. Ohioans’ voices deserve to be heard.”

When asked if his decision might be considered premature, the visibly irate Secretary shot back, “I didn’t hear any of you media types criticizing the head of FEMA for spending millions of dollars to deploy resources to the Northeast just because a couple of so-called scientists predicted a hurricane would strike there — even though everybody knows that most of those storms make landfall much farther south. My experts forecast that Gov. Romney will garner the majority of votes, so I acted accordingly. The good people of this state don’t pay me to sit on my hands; they pay me to do my job.”

Gov. John Kasich was quick to praise Husted. “As always, Jon was prepared and acted decisively in the best interests of our citizens. This is doubly impressive when you consider he was able to accomplish this while also juggling such a large number of voter suppression-related lawsuits. I think we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude, as of course does President-elect Romney.”

While most experts agree that with his win in Ohio, Gov. Romney’s path to the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the White House just became much easier, many feel that Husted’s unprecedented move may throw the election into the courts for the second time in the last four election cycles — especially if others follow suit and certify their states’ results in advance. When asked for comment, Romney campaign senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom responded, “I hope that President Obama and his supporters, for the good of the country, would not go down that road. Nobody wants to return to those darkest of days when the nation faced the stark reality of a possible Al Gore presidency.” Fehrnstrom also added, “It is also our hope that all of those who are eligible — even those who disagree with us — will get out and exercise their right to vote while they still have it.”

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