Late Monday night, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed an order that closed Tuesday election polls due to coronavirus concerns.
“We have plenty of time to continue this election,” DeWine said during a press conference on Tuesday. “More and more of our citizens are going to become ill. We need to allow those citizens who become ill to have the opportunity to vote.”
According to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s website, in-person voting will take place on June 2. Only those who registered to vote by Feb. 18 are eligible to vote, but Ohio residents can request absentee ballots until May 26. Absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than June 1.
All votes already submitted by mail or in-person will count.
Highland County Board of Elections Director Debbie Craycraft told The Times-Gazette that Highland County residents can request an absentee ballot by filling out an absentee ballot application. Applications can be obtained by calling the board of elections office at 937-393-9961 or by printing the form at www.boe.ohio.gov/highland/absentee-information/absentee-voting/.
Craycraft said that since the board of elections has already fulfilled its early voting hours, voting will not be available in their office until June.
As reported in Tuesday’s edition of The Times-Gazette, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on Twitter on Monday afternoon that he would be requesting that Ohio’s primary election be postponed until June 2.
According to The Associated Press, Richard Frye, the presiding judge at Franklin County Common Pleas Court, ruled against postponing the election due to concerns that the public health issue wouldn’t be resolved by June.
“I’m very reluctant to undermine (state election law) and say, well, we’ll have a judge in Columbus rewrite the election code, reset the election for some arbitrary date in the future and upset the apple cart in a terrible precedent,” Frye said during a hearing on the request.
At around 10 p.m. on Monday night, DeWine tweeted that Acton would order the polls close despite Frye’s ruling.
“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,” DeWine wrote.
Approximately 30 minutes later, DeWine tweeted that Acton had signed an order and polls were closed. He included images of the three-page document with the tweet.
WHIO-TV 7 reported that several Ohio poll workers arrived at polling locations on Tuesday morning, citing confusion over the last-minute request, rejection and closure.
Craycraft told The Times-Gazette that the Highland County Board of Elections is still accepting applications for poll workers for the postponed election.
“We always can use poll workers,” Craycraft said, “but especially because our county is more of a Republican county, we need more Democrats and non-partisan workers for the balance of the polls.”
In February, Highland County Elections Administrator David Tolliver told The Times-Gazette that on Election Day poll workers’ duties include opening and closing their polling location, checking voter IDs, and assisting voters.
Poll workers must attend a training session and arrive at their polling location at 5:30 a.m. After polls close at 7:30 p.m., they pack up equipment and return it to the board of elections.
Poll workers must be registered to vote. High school seniors are eligible to serve as poll workers.
Poll workers receive $20 for attending a training session and $115 for working during Election Day.
To sign up to be a poll worker or for more information, call the Highland County Board of Elections at 937-393-9961. The board of elections is located in the Hi-Tech Center at 1575 N. High St., Suite 200.
For more information about coronavirus in Ohio, go to coronavirus.ohio.gov or call the Ohio COVID-19 Call Center at 1-833-427-5634.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.