Primary Election postponed

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued the following statement following Governor Mike DeWine’s and Ohio Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton’s order closing polling places on March 17.

“Their difficult but necessary decision will protect the health and well-being of Ohioans. This directive is issued to bring clarity to voters, Ohio’s boards of elections, and poll workers in response to Dr. Acton’s order.

The March 17 Presidential Primary Election is suspended until June 2. This directive sets forth additional details.”

•The boards of elections must post notice on their websites, social media, at the board of elections, and at polling places that in-person voting for the March 17, Presidential Primary Election is suspended.

•The boards of elections are prohibited from processing any new voter registrations for the June 2 presidential primary election. The Feb. 18 voter registration deadline remains the voter registration deadline.

•Boards of elections must remain open on March 17 to receive any absentee ballots at the boards of elections through 7:30 p.m. Boards of elections are required to process any UOCAVA ballots. Boards of elections are required to process any-non UOCAVA absentee ballot post-marked by Monday, March 16 and received by the boards of elections through March 27. Boards of elections are prohibited from tabulating and reporting any results until the close of polls on Tuesday, June 2.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued the following joint statement:

‘The only thing more important than a free and fair election is the health and safety of Ohioans. The Ohio Department of Health and the CDC have advised against anyone gathering in groups larger than 50 people, which will occur if the election goes forward. Additionally, Ohioans over 65 and those with certain health conditions have been advised to limit their nonessential contact with others, affecting their ability to vote or serve as poll workers. Logistically, under these extraordinary circumstances, it simply isn’t possible to hold an election tomorrow that will be considered legitimate by Ohioans. They mustn’t be forced to choose between their health and exercising their constitutional rights.”

DeWine also stated:

“During this time when we face an unprecedented public health crisis, to conduct an election tomorrow would would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at a unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus. As such, Health Director Dr. Amy Acton will order the polls closed as a health emergency. While the polls will be closed tomorrow, Secretary of State Frank LaRose will seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options so that every voter who wants to vote will be granted that opportunity.”

The Franklin County Board of Elections issued this statement:

“Tonight the Ohio Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton issued an order closing all polling locations throughout Ohio including all of Franklin County’s 330 polling locations.

Franklin County will abide by this order and will work at the guidance of the Ohio Secretary of State following the latest Directive released this evening. Please see attachment with SOS Directive.”

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