Many people are wondering about the status of our election after a chaotic few days. As I am sure you’ve seen, polls were not open on Tuesday, March 17, after an order by the Director of the Ohio Department of Health was not overruled by the Ohio Supreme Court.
So what does this mean?
When and how Ohioans will vote next is not clear. Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued a directive for procedures and a timeline to be followed now that in-person voting has been suspended. State legislators have been called back to meet in special session to address this issue, and additional lawsuits have been filed.
If you have already voted, your vote will be counted. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the employees at the Board of Elections in Delaware County and across the state who have been working hard on this election, preparing, training, and helping early voters for the past several weeks. They have borne the brunt of this confusion, and they will continue to protect our right to vote.
The Secretary of State is proceeding as if the election will be on June 2, and the Board of Elections is accepting Absentee Ballot Applications. While we encourage new voter registrations and updates, the February 18 deadline to be eligible to vote in the Presidential Primary still holds.
What can we do?
Any Democratic candidate facing a primary has to spend more time campaigning against their primary challenger, before having to transition to the General Election battle. Contact candidates to find out if you could write postcards or make calls for them. Many are working to create new ways to support candidates while also “socially distancing” to protect yourself.
In addition, the Olentangy Schools Levy, which the Delaware County Democratic Party endorsed, still needs advocates sharing the importance of passing the levy and supporting our kids. Keep sharing their levy facts and talking to your friends and neighbors about the levy. Find more information on the informational website.
One of the most important things you can do right now is to stay well. This coronavirus outbreak is something we have never seen before and hopefully will never experience again. We urge you to stay out of public areas, wash your hands, and do what you can to protect yourself and those around you. Staying well also means working to cope with the stress and anxiety that comes with experiencing this scary time. Even though we cannot gather as a party right now, do what you can to interact with others online and on the phone. We are in this together and we will get through it together.
Peg Watkins, Chair
Delaware County Democratic Party