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Leader Sykes: We never should have arrived at this point

Expresses disappointment in the bungling of Ohio's primary election
March 16, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

COLUMBUS—House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement tonight about the confusion caused by the governor’s Monday afternoon recommendation that Election Day be moved to June 2 which was then denied in court and caused chaos and confusion in the late evening hours. Ohio’s Health Director has since ordered polling locations to be closed over coronavirus concerns.

“One of the things I learned in law school was you can never predict what a judge will do.

We never should have arrived at this point. The Ohio Black Legislative Caucus (OLBC) asked days ago for the governor, Speaker and Senate President to reevaluate our preparedness for this election. They called on the legislature to convene to address these concerns and others. We knew our local boards of elections were concerned. We knew the public was concerned. We knew our poll workers were concerned. But they waited and miscalculated and ordered poll workers to not report to the polls before a judge had even made a decision.

I am deeply disappointed with how this situation was handled. This is why Ohio needs to update its archaic system and modernize voting like so many other states have, so we can adapt to emergencies. I hope the missteps we have seen tonight lead to a much deeper discussion at a later time about increasing accessibility to the ballot box.”

Leader Sykes holds a Master’s of Public Health from the College of Public Health and Health Profession at the University of Florida. She was also awarded a Certification in Public Health in 2012 and a law degree from the University of Florida.

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Editor’s note: a copy of OLBC’s letter is attached.

Leader Sykes: We never should have arrived at this point (PDF)