After some previous uncertainty, Ohio’s Tuesday primary was eventually called off at the last minute on Monday night due to a health emergency posed by COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
What We Know:
- The election was thrown into a downward spiral of chaos on Monday after Gov. Mike DeWine said the state would not open polls because of the coronavirus outbreak. His comments came just after a judge declined to postpone the contest until June.
- He announced early Monday that he would try to have the state’s in-person voting moved from Tuesday, March 17 to June 2 to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations that older and at-risk Americans stay home to avoid contracting coronavirus.
- DeWine said in a statement on Twitter, “During this time when we face an unprecedented public health crisis, to conduct an election tomorrow would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at an unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus”.
- Later on Monday, in an interview with CNN, DeWine added that without drastic moves, tens of thousands of poll workers, many of them “over the age of 65” would be in places where the virus could spread.
Initially, the Franklin County court of common pleas judge declined to order the postponement on Monday evening. According to a NBC news affiliate, Judge Richard Frye said he was reluctant to override the election date set by the Ohio legislature and that coronavirus has been an issue of concern since January.