Ohio’s primary election maneuvering leaves poll workers confused; election called off again

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Thousands of election poll workers were in a state of limbo Monday evening after a judge refused a lawsuit seeking to postpone Tuesday’s primary election.

For a few hours Monday, poll workers were under the impression the primary would be postponed until June 2 due to an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Gov. Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose appeared at a press conference earlier in the day, saying they were taking steps to have in-person voting moved to the June date.

All that had to happen was for a judge to issue a temporary restraining order and move election day.

That didn’t happen.

Then things changed… again.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued an order Monday night closing the polls due as part of a health emergency.

Additionally, the plaintiffs in the Monday lawsuit have filed an appeal

All that back and forth sent poll workers into a state of confusion as the governor’s office said one thing, the judge said another, and their Board of Elections supervisors told them yet another.

Poll workers received a message at around 9 p.m. Monday saying, “The Franklin County Court of Common Pleas denied the request to postpone the election.”

As of now, poll workers and voters cannot show up to work or vote at locations like the 4-H building on Fred Taylor Drive.

But before that, poll workers across the state were in limbo.

One worker said he only signed up to work the polls mere days ago and was really excited to help out.

Now, he just wants to make sure this thing primary is happening.

“It’s been interesting,” poll worker Christopher Kopp said Monday evening. “This morning, we kinda assumed it was happening, and then the governor came on and said it’s not gonna happen or we’re going to try to make it from happening, and then when the news came on and said it’s happening for sure, I was like, ‘Okay I guess we’re on,’ and then all of a sudden, I get a text message and a little while later an email saying not to show up for work or to assume you’re not going to show up for work. It just kinda makes it a little confusing, yeah!”

With Acton’s order, the polls are again closed to voters and workers Tuesday.

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