Ohio: Primary vote halted at last minute by health officials amid coronavirus court battle | Daniel Strauss/The Guardian
Heath officials in Ohio have postponed the state’s primary vote just hours before polls were set to open, an 11th-hour decision that came after a judge denied the Governor’s request to postpone the vote because of the coronavirus. 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. Arizona, Florida and Illinois were proceeding with their presidential primaries. Earlier on Monday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recommended that his state postpone in-person voting during Tuesday’s primary elections. DeWine said he alone did not have the authority to postpone the election, but lawyers would file a lawsuit to try to move the in-person voting date to 2 June. “We cannot conduct this election tomorrow,” DeWine said, adding that Ohioans should not be forced to make the “choice between their health and their constitutional rights and their duties as [an] American citizen”. Later on Monday, in an interview with CNN, DeWine said without drastic moves tens of thousands of pollworkers, many of them “over the age of 65” would be in places where the virus could spread.