Public Health Order Closes Voting Locations, Delays Ohio Primary

Mar 17, 2020

After a series of events whipsawing back and forth last night, Gov. Mike DeWine's administration issued a public health order to close all polling locations for Ohio's primary today. The plan is to allow in-person voting on June 2.

After some confusion over the defeat of a courtroom attempt to delay the primary, DeWine issued an order saying in-person voting is a public health risk as people try to delay the spread of coronavirus.

Instead, the plan is to extend the absentee voting window for a few more months and set in-person voting for June 2.

Jen Miller, director of the League of Women Voters for Ohio, called it a necessary step.

"We should not be in a place where people have to choose between their health and safety and expressing their opinions for democracy," says Miller.

Critics have hinted at possible legal action, claiming DeWine's administration is overstepping its authority.

A statement from DeWine says Secretary of State Frank LaRose plans to extend voting options through the court process.

During a press conference with DeWine, LaRose said, "There is only one thing more important in my mind more important than a free and fair election. And that is the health and safety of our fellow Ohioans. The health and safety of our fellow Ohioans is not negotiable."