Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that he will be closing the polls for the primary elections in the state, as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S.
“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,” Dewine said in a statement.
As such, @DrAmyActon will order the polls closed as a health emergency. While the polls will be closed tomorrow, Secretary of State @FrankLaRose will seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options so that every voter who wants to vote will be granted that opportunity.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 17, 2020
Just hours before, an Ohio court officially denied a request to delay the state’s primary election after calls from DeWine, who suggested Monday that the Tuesday primary should be postponed due to fears of the virus spreading. Ohio is the fourth state to suspend it’s primary election since the coronavirus has ramped up.
“It is clear that tomorrow’s in-person voting does not conform and cannot conform with these CDC guidelines. We cannot conduct this election tomorrow,” DeWine said at a press conference. (RELATED: Ohio Governor Calls For Primary To Be Delayed One Day Before Election)
“The power to suspend an election, the power to delay an election, is not one we have. It rests with the legislature and the courts,” Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose added at the press conference,” Politico reported. “I hope and anticipate the judge will agree with us.”
DeWine says the elections should be postponed until June, as a safety measure to protect voters from the spread of the deadly disease. (RELATED: Here’s What The $8.3 Billion Bill For Coronavirus Actually Does)
There are three other states holding primaries Tuesday, including Arizona, Florida and Illinois.