Sherrod Brown Concerned Trump Could Cite Ohio Primary ‘Precedent’ to Delay Presidential Election

Senator Sherrod Brown (D, Ohio) speaks at the Ohio Democratic election night party in Columbus, November 6, 2018. (Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters )

Senator Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) claimed in a conference call with reporters Wednesday that President Trump could cite the delay of Ohio’s presidential primary as a “precedent” in making the case to delay the general presidential election in November.

“My concern is that in the age of Trump that other governors might think, or that the president might ask, for a delay in the November election based on something, perhaps this, perhaps something else,” Brown said. “We can’t let this be a precedent. I’m hopeful the governor and legislature will come together and do this earlier.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a “health emergency” on Tuesday in order to close the state’s polling sites, a decision that was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court. DeWine, a Republican, had initially sued in Franklin County to ban in-person voting and extend the primary to June 2, after the Center for Disease Control recommended Sunday that groups of over 50 should not gather together to help limit the spread of coronavirus. After a local judge denied the request, DeWine declared the health emergency to override the decision.

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“Logistically, under these extraordinary circumstances, it simply isn’t possible to hold an election tomorrow that will be considered legitimate by Ohioans. They mustn’t be forced to choose between their health and exercising their constitutional rights,” he said in a statement.

Shortly after DeWine called to extend the primary, President Trump said Monday in a White House press conference that he thought voting delays were “unnecessary.”

“Well, I’d leave that up to the states. It’s a big thing, postponing an election,” Trump said, adding later, “I think postponing elections is not a very good thing. I think postponing is unnecessary.”

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