CLEVELAND — At Boards of Elections across Ohio on Saturday, voters lined up to cast their votes early in the state's presidential primary as concerns grow across the nation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections stressed the polls will be open Tuesday, they will be staffed and they will be safe.
LaRose also was there to put out a call for poll workers to sign up to work one of the nearly 4,000 voting locations in the state to help fill the holes left by workers who are choosing not to take part this year because of the coronavirus.
"It is safe to be a poll worker but some folks instead of listening to that message have decided they don't want to work the polls on election day," LaRose said. "We're going to respect that decision and so we're working to backfill those with some more people."
They'll respect the decision now, Tuesday is another thing.
"If you're not going to be there on Tuesday, a no-call no show is unacceptable, that's not responsible and so if you're not going to be there on Tuesday morning you need to notify your county board of elections right now even though it will be safe to be there."
LaRose urged those interested in signing up to be a poll worker to go to the www.voteohio.gov website.
"In a time where we face a national emergency Americans traditionally come together," he said. "Right now the public health emergency that we're having in conjunction with election day on Tuesday March 17, means that the call to duty is for Ohioans to sign up to be poll workers."
LaRose urging his fellow veterans to consider it but also those students in college currently out of class or high school students 17 or over.
"If you're out of class on Tuesday, if you're out of work on Tuesday consider signing up to be a poll worker."
LaRose said he's been in contact with the Secretaries of State from Florida, Illinois and Arizona, which are also holding primaries on Tuesday. When asked if he ever considered postponing the election he said he has deferred throughout the week to state healthcare leaders.
"They have been clear with their guidance that a mass gathering is banned, with polling locations are safe if we follow the recommendations to clean the environment then it'll be a safe experience for everybody involved."