Ohio Governor Postpones State’s Presidential Primary
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has postponed the 2020 presidential primary for the state, citing a public health emergency. The announcement came just hours after a judge rejected the state’s request to move the election to June amid fears that voters heading to the polls on Tuesday could increase their risk of contacting COVID-19.

DeWine said via 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.”

The Republican governor added, “While the polls will be closed tomorrow, Secretary of State Frank LaRose will seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options so that every voter who wants to vote will be granted that opportunity.”

Republican Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio
COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 06: Republican Gubernatorial-elect Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine gives his victory speech after winning the Ohio gubernatorial race at the Ohio Republican Party’s election night party at the Sheraton Capitol Square on November 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. DeWine defeated Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Richard Cordray to win the Ohio governorship. (Photo by Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

Judge Richard Frye declined the request on Monday, saying that to postpone the vote would set a “terrible precedent,” the Associated Press reported.

Though DeWine decided to forgo the state’s primary at this time, three additional states will be heading to the polls on Tuesday. Arizona, Illinois, and Florida, all of which are currently under a state of emergency, will be taking part in the democratic process, though experts suggest that it could cause low voter turnout in Illinois

Having a global pandemic during the 2020 primaries has caused an unprecedented election season. Candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have both been forced to cancel large-scale town halls and rallies as the nation tries to curb the spread of the coronavirus by prohibiting mass gatherings. On Sunday, the two men faced-off on a debate stage in Washington, D.C. with no crowd. The original debate was slated for Arizona.

Disruptions during the Democratic primary season are expected to continue in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ESSENCE is committed to bringing our audience the latest facts about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our content team is closely monitoring the developing details surrounding the virus via official sources and health care experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Please continue to refresh ESSENCE’s informational hub for updates on COVID-19, as well as tips for taking care of yourselves, your families, and your communities.

TOPICS: