Ohio governor: ‘We cannot tell people to stay inside, but also tell them to go out and vote.’
Ohio called off its presidential primary just hours before polls were set to open there and in three other states, an 11th-hour decision the governor said was necessary to prevent further fueling the coronavirus pandemic that has paralysed the nation.
Health Director Amy Acton declared a health emergency that would prevent the polls from opening out of fear of exposing voters and volunteer poll workers – many of them elderly – to the virus.
Governor Mike DeWine failed to get a judge to halt the primary on Monday evening, even though the governor contended the election results wouldn’t be viewed as legitimate in light of the pandemic.
“To conduct an election tomorrow would would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at a unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus,” he said. ‘We cannot tell people to stay inside, but also tell them to go out and vote,” he added.
It wasn’t clear what would happen, but DeWine said officials were considering how to give voters an opportunity to cast their ballots.