Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that he will try to have the state’s in-person voting moved from Tuesday, March 17, to June 2 to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations that older and at-risk Americans stay home to avoid contracting coronavirus.
“We cannot conduct this election tomorrow, the in-person voting for 13 hours tomorrow, and conform to [CDC] guidelines,” DeWine said at a press conference.
“We should not be in a situation where the votes of these individuals who are conflicted are suppressed,” he said. “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 until June 2, that no in-person voting occur today, but rather in-person voting occur on June 2, but between now and then that absentee ballot voting be permitted.”
DeWine noted that he does not have the unilateral authority to move the election date, so a group of individuals in the high-risk group will file a lawsuit in Franklin County Court with the hopes that a judge will move the date.
“We cannot tell people to stay inside, but also tell them to go out and vote,” Gov. Mike DeWine wrote on Twitter Monday. “I believe when we look back on this, we’ll be happy we did this.”
The governor said votes that have already been cast will still be counted, and that voters would still be able to request absentee ballots if the in-person vote is delayed. Absentee voting would continue in the meantime, he said.
DeWine also announced Monday that gyms, recreation centers, movie theaters, indoor water parks and trampoline parks across the state will be closed until further notice.