‘We tried to get the word out’: Butler County adjusts to election postponement

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, along with state health officials provided the latest update regarding the Coronavirus in Ohio.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Butler County Board of Elections sent texts and “robocalls” to about 1,200 poll workers just before midnight Monday to let them know the election was cancelled.

Deputy BOE Director Eric Corbin told the Journal-News they received the directive from the secretary of state at around 10:30 p.m. but waited until they got official word Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton before taking action.

RELATED: Butler County poll workers ordered to collect equipment after election postponed by state order

To their knowledge none of the poll workers who were told to stay home showed up this morning, only poll supervisors and driving judges — who deliver equipment to polls and bring ballots back after the election — reported for duty.

“First we posted some instructions on our website for poll workers and then we sent out text messages and robocalls to all of our poll workers…,” Corbin said. “We tried to get the word out as much as we could… From our perspective it really go as well as it could have.”

BOE Director Diane Noonan added they posted the cancellation on all forms of social media, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. She said with events unfolding by the hour yesterday they stayed in contact with the county prosecutor’s office throughout the day.

“We stayed at full steam ahead until we found out the health director pulled the plug,” Noonan said.

INITIAL REPORT

Butler County poll location supervisors were ordered to work early this morning to collect voting equipment and post signs that the election has been postponed due to coronavirus.

Poll supervisors were ordered to report to polling locations and the Board of Elections offices at 5:30 a.m. after the primary election was postponed by an order of Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton last night.

The state took extraordinary action late Monday to halt in-person voting for the March 17 primary by issuing a public health order shutting down more than 3,600 polling locations.

Acton was to sign an order late Monday after a Franklin County judge denied a request by two voters to delay the election to June 2 but continue absentee voting by mail.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Ohio polls close as a public health emergency

Gov. Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Monday afternoon that they believed the evolving coronavirus outbreak would put voters and poll workers over 65 and those with health issues at risk of being exposed to the virus.

DeWine said it presented an unacceptable health risk.

“While the polls will be closed (Tuesday), Secretary of State Frank LaRose will seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options so that every voter who wants to vote will be granted that opportunity,” DeWine said in a written statement.

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