Ohio Governor Moves to Push Primary Voting to June

(CN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Monday he will file a lawsuit to postpone in-person voting in the state’s primary, scheduled for Tuesday, until June 2 because of the coronavirus.

Absentee ballots will still be available to those who request them and all votes submitted to this point will count, DeWine said at a press conference Monday afternoon.

A man votes early on Sunday in Steubenville, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Republican governor cited the state’s inability to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and move forward with in-person voting on Tuesday, and also said he wants to ensure the safety of poll workers.

“We are all in this together,” DeWine said.

Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, also spoke at the press conference and said the state has 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

“This is the tip of the iceberg,” Acton told reporters. “The whole country is moving today … everyone is sort of moving full-court press.”

“Timing is everything,” she added.

DeWine also mandated that places like gyms and movie theaters close by the end of the business day Monday.

Neither DeWine nor Secretary of State Frank LaRose has the power to push back elections on their own. A judge is expected to issue a court order on the delay request Monday night.

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

LaRose had said as early as Monday morning that voting would continue as normal, saying “we have tried to do everything we could to avoid” suspending in-person voting.

Louisiana and Georgia have also postponed their primaries that were set for this month as the virus continues to spread across the country. A Johns Hopkins University tracker shows there are more than 4,300 confirmed cases in the U.S., as the death toll climbed to 77.

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