Dems File Legal Challenge To Ohio Primary Delay

Mar 17, 2020

The decision to postpone Ohio's primary has stirred up legal challenges including a state supreme court lawsuit filed by the Ohio Democratic Party. But leaders there say this is actually a preemptive strike to protect the extended primary.

Gov. Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose postponed the primary to prevent exposure to the coronavirus for voters and poll workers.

But Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper says only lawmakers or the court can change an election date, which puts LaRose's order on shaky legal ground.

"So the lawsuit is actually about saving this primary. There is no authority right now in place for the proposal for a June 2 primary or any extension of the primary so we had to rush to court today to actually preserve people's ability to vote in this primary," says Pepper.

The Dems lawsuit sets the primary date for April 28, and requests voting by absentee ballot only. That would mean no Election Day, in-person voting.

Pepper added that an earlier date of April 28 would resolve some logistics issues for presidential candidates trying to seat delegates for the upcoming party national conventions.