Ohio Gov.: I Don't Think We Should Vote Tuesday

But a court will decide whether primary goes ahead
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2020 3:53 PM CDT
Governor: CDC Advice Means No Primary Tuesday
State Department of Health Director Amy Acton confers with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine before a news conference Saturday on the new coronavirus.   (Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state's primary should not be held Tuesday, in light of the latest CDC guidance that no gatherings of 50 people or more be held to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. "It is clear that tomorrow's in-person voting does not conform, and cannot conform, with these CDC guidelines," said DeWine, a Republican, on Monday. "We cannot conduct this election tomorrow." He wants the voting to take place June 2 instead, with absentee voting continuing in the meantime, CNN reports. Postponing an election is not within the governor's powers, so he'll seek a court order. DeWine planned to file a lawsuit Monday, per the Dayton Daily News. Arizona, Florida, and Illinois still plan to hold primaries Tuesday.

State officials said voters and election volunteers have said they were worried about the infection risk that crowds at polling places posed. DeWine said he didn't think the state should force citizens "to choose between their constitutional rights and their health." In the end, the governor said, everyone will have a chance to vote. The Ohio Republican Party endorsed the decision, as did Kate Schroder, a Democratic seeking a congressional seat. "As a candidate, changing the date of the election is an unexpected challenge," she said, "but it is nothing compared to the importance of community safety and minimizing lives lost." (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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