• 61°

Primary voting up in the air, Gov. DeWine sues to hold election on June 2

At an afternoon press conference, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said that due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, he wants to delay the primary election to June 2.

But he admitted under Ohio law, he doesn’t have that authority unless the state was being invaded by a military force.

So, he is filing a lawsuit in Franklin County where Columbus is located to get the court to decide the matter.

The governor is concerned about having at-risk people out voting and working the polling stations.

It was unknown as of 4 p.m. Monday if the election would take place.

If it does, the Lawrence County Board of Elections is taking numerous precautions because of the virus.

The board of elections will have a locked drop box for ballots by the road on the Fourth Street side of the courthouse. That way people can vote without having to get out of their vehicle.

Workers will have an isopropyl alcohol-based sanitizer on hand to wipe off the voting machines and they will be cleaned according to recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the machines’ manufacturer.

Q-tips will be provided if the voter does not want to touch the screen of the machine. The Q-tips will then be disposed of after a single use.

If voters wish to not exchange the form of identification they are using to check in at their polling location, voters should hold the form of identification so the poll worker can verify the form of identification with voter registration rolls. The poll books (resembling an iPad) will be cleaned by the poll workers between each voter as with isopropyl alcohol.
Polling stations will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

During the press conference, Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said there were 50 confirmed cases in Ohio, with the breakdown being 20 women and 30 men, with the ages ranging from ages 14-80. One week ago, there had been one confirmed case. She said the cases are currently in the Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Nation” Sunday morning, DeWine cited projections that the virus may not peak until the latter part of April or May.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

The governor ordered several types of facilities closed by the end of the business day including movie theaters, gyms, bowling alleys, water parks and trampoline parks.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)