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House Democrats Fear St. Patrick's Day Primary Could Hurt Voter Turnout

Ohio I Voted Stickers
John Minchillo
Associated Press

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has told House Democrats that county officials are prepared to successfully administer elections no matter what the day. 

LaRose's message is in response to a letter from House members expressing concerns about potentially changing the date of the 2020 Presidential Primary to March 17, St. Patrick's Day.

The two dozen Democrats from the Ohio House are worried that St. Patrick's Day festivities could impact access to polling locations, discourage people from working at the polls and reduce overall turnout.

Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) represents parts of Cuyahoga County with a large Irish population. She says this should be an easy fix.

“The fact that the primary date is movable and doesn’t have to fall on St. Patrick’s Day, doesn’t really make sense as to why we would even have this concern at this point,” says Sweeney.

The current date for the 2020 Presidential Primary in Ohio is set for March 10. The proposed change is a provision in the larger budget bill which is still stalled in negotiations between the House and Senate.

LaRose’s response emphasized that it’s up to the legislature to set the date of the election.