FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Arizona are pushing forward with Tuesday’s primary election, although the coronavirus is causing headaches as polling places need to be moved and workers afraid of catching the disease drop out.
The governors’ offices in those states said Monday they are not planning to delay the primary despite the viral outbreak. Georgia already postponed next week’s primary and Louisiana has postponed its scheduled April 4 primary.
In Illinois, there’s no process for canceling or postponing the vote, said Matt Dietrich, spokesman for the State Board of Elections.
“This is unprecedented so it’s not clear exactly what the process would be for changing it, though it likely would involve a request to the attorney general to seek a court order,” Dietrich said.
As of Monday morning, Ohio’s primary election was on, according to Jon Keeling, a spokesman for Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose. LaRose, however, postponed a Monday morning press briefing until the afternoon, when he will appear with GOP Gov. Mike DeWine.
Turnout at the polling places is already expected to be light Tuesday as only the Democrats have a contested presidential primary and that is down to two contenders: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Add in that the states were pushing early voting and vote-by-mail even before the outbreak and many fewer voters are expected to appear Tuesday at their neighborhood precinct.