Ohio primary election postponement denied by judge


By Adam Black - ablack@aimmediamidwest.com



A Franklin County Judge has denied the request to postpone voting Tuesday, March 17.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Frye denied an attempt to delay Ohio’s primary election due to coronavirus Monday night.

If there are no last-minute appeals, the election is slated to move forward with the polls opening at 6:30 a.m.

According to the Scioto County Commissioners Facebook page, an appeal has been filed.

” Judge rules election is on. Appeal has reportedly been filed. We will advise ASAP,” the commissioners posted.

On Monday Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that he filed a lawsuit in Franklin County to move Ohio’s primary election day to June 2.

DeWine stated in a news conference the lawsuit and recommendation to move the primary election in-person voting date is to ensure the safety of Ohio voters during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We cannot tell people to stay inside, but also tell them to go out and vote,” DeWine said.

DeWine said that it would not be right to have Ohio voters who are at-risk for COVID-19 to have to make the choice between their constitutional right and their health.

“It is therefore my recommendation, after talking with the secretary of state, talking with the attorney general, talking with the lieutenant governor, that voting be extended to June 2,” DeWine said. “That no in-person voting occur today, that in-person voting happens on June 2.” He also recommended extending absentee voting by mail until June 2.

“It is, I believe, the right thing to do,” DeWine said.

While DeWine said he believes it is the right thing to do, DeWine said he does not have the authority to delay the election. He shared the state constitution provides the only reason for moving election day is in the event of an invasion.

“While I jokingly have said it is an invasion, I don’t believe that is what the state constitution meant,” DeWine said.” It will be up to a judge to decide if the election will be postponed.”

DeWine has filed a lawsuit in Franklin County to delay in-person voting until June 2.

“When we look back at this, we’re going to be glad we did this,” DeWine said.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said that he has advised the state’s Attorney General, Dave Yost, to accept the governor’s recommendation and allow the election day delay. He said the lawsuit would be submitted for consideration Monday afternoon.

“The health and safety of Ohioans is not negotiable,” LaRose said.

“I believe when we look back on this, we’ll be happy we did this. The votes that have already been cast will still be counted – and this recommendation would allow others to vote in the future,” DeWine said.

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By Adam Black

ablack@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 Extension 1927

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 Extension 1927

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved