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.”
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.
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