Ohio Election Delays and COVID-19

A Lawyers Chapter Teleforum

On March 17 - Ohio's in-person primary Election Day - Ohio's Department of Health Director ordered all Ohio polling places to be closed "to avoid the imminent threat with a high probability of widespread exposure to COVID-19. . . ."  Ohio's Secretary of State then directed Ohio's county boards of elections to extend the election to June 2.  Litigation ensued.  Was this poll closure lawful?  Does Ohio's Secretary of State have the authority to extend the election, or is that power reserved to the legislature?  Will other states follow Ohio's lead?  Could we see delays in November's elections based upon the pandemic?

This teleforum features some of the nation's leading election law experts, is hosted by the Columbus Lawyers Chapter, and will address these questions at the intersection of emergency powers and election law.


Prof. Edward B. Foley, Charles W. Ebersold and Florence Whitcomb Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law and Director of Election Law, Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University

Prof. Michael T. Morley, Assistant Professor, Florida State University College of Law

Prof. Bradley A. Smith, Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Professor of Law, Capital University Law School

Moderator: Robert Alt, President and CEO, The Buckeye Institute



This call is open to the public - please dial 888-752-3232 to access the call.