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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Delay in Ohio Primary

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well under way Coronavirus presents unprecedented challenges to the electoral process.

Zach Montellaro and Alice Miranda Ollstein at Politico:
Polls will not open for Ohio's primary election Tuesday after a late-night decision from Gov. Mike DeWine, effectively upheld by the state Supreme Court, to delay in-person voting until June in an effort to protect voters and poll workers from the coronavirus outbreak.
"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.

The election was in limbo for several hours Monday night after a state judge in Columbus denied a last-minute attempt by the state to postpone the primary election. But DeWine responded with an unprecedented order closing physical polling places as the legal battle moved up to the Ohio Supreme Court. Early Tuesday morning, four judges on that court issued a unanimous, unsigned ruling declining to stop the state from shuttering polls. Three other judges on the court recused — two because they're currently running for reelection and the other because he is DeWine's son.

The ruling effectively overturns the Monday ruling from Franklin County Judge Richard Frye that the primary had to continue as scheduled. Frye said it was too late to move back the primary and that doing so would confuse and suppress voters.