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Ohio’s postponed primary: What’s next for voters?

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, OH (WOWK) — It’s the primary election that didn’t quite happen. After a sequence of court proceedings that did not go in the favor of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the State Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton, ordered polls closed citing a health emergency at the eleventh hour the night before the March 17, 2020 primary.

As a result, the Ohio Primary has now been postponed until June 2.

The Ohio Democratic Party basically put the last 24 hours into context. In a statement to 13 News, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper says in part, “given the chaos, confusion, and mixed messages of the past 24 hours, it’s clearly impossible for in-person voting to move forward today in Ohio.”

Tuesday morning, Lawrence County Board of Elections Officials broke down what this election postponement means for voters. The Ohio Primary will now be held on June 2, unless the Board of Elections receives a different directive from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

If you took advantage of early voting, your vote will still count, and you don’t need to worry about anything. If you sent in an absentee ballot, those are being locked up in a vault and will be tabulated on Election Day in June.

But if you’re one of the people that hasn’t voted, you do have a few options. You can wait until Election Day on June 2; or you can pick up, request, or print an absentee ballot to mail back to the Board of Elections. Those absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday, June 1 and received by the Board of Elections no later than Friday, June 12.

Catherine Snider is the Board of Elections Director in Lawrence County and she says in the 24 years she’s worked for the Board of Elections, nothing like this has ever happened.

“I want to see everyone vote, and if the state’s opened it up to give us that opportunity, then I think anyone who wanted to, or weren’t able to on time, or were out of town to take advantage of it,” Snider said. “In person absentee voting, however, stopped at 2 o’clock [Monday] and that is done. It’s over.”

As for poll workers, Snider says she hopes they’ll work with the Board of Elections in June, but she cannot comment any further until the Board gets more information from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

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