DeWine Orders More Closures; Request Postponing In-Person Voting

Staff Writer

In Monday’s press conference, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered more businesses close at the end of the business day as well as proposing the postponement of Tuesday’s primary.

DeWine ordered the closing of gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, bowling alleys, indoor water parks, movie theaters and trampoline parks across the state until further notice.  This will take effect at the close of business.

In addition, a lawsuit will be filed to postpone the election until June 2. In the meantime, voters would still be able to request absentee ballots. It will be up to a judge to decide if the election will be postponed.

“Tomorrow’s in-person voting cannot conform to these CDC guidelines,” DeWine added.

DeWine reiterated that people 65 and older should not leave their homes, as well as those who are medically at-risk. DeWine added those guidelines include women who are pregnant.

“My recommendation, after talking with the secretary of state talking with the lieutenant governor, that voting day extended until June 2,” DeWine said. “People will not have to choose between their constitutional rights and 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 he does not have the power to order the change, but some affected voters will file a lawsuit asking a judge to order it given the danger they would face if they had to go to the polls. 

“We should not force them to make that choice,” DeWine said. Absentee balloting would continue during the interim. Georgia already postponed next week's primary, and Louisiana has postponed its scheduled April 4 primary.

Florida, Illinois and Arizona's governors' offices said they were pushing forward with Tuesday's voting, even though they are losing polling sites and workers.