Not the time for politics

Should Gov. Mike DeWine have called the Ohio General Assembly into session last week to decide whether the state’s primary election should have been delayed?

Of course.

Should Secretary of State Frank LaRose have left it up to lawmakers to set a new date for the election?


But DeWine did not call legislators into session.

Instead, he and others sought a court order that would have closed the polls and extended absentee voting until June 2. A Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge declined to issue that order.

So, on Monday night, the state’s chief health officer called off the Tuesday primary. Dr. Amy Acton declared a public health emergency and ordered the polls closed.

The entire process made voters anxious on Monday night. It also resulted in confusion on Tuesday — for voters and poll workers alike. In some places, people turned out to cast ballots anyway, and all across the state workers took down and returned the voting equipment they had set up the day before.

It probably would have been more prudent for DeWine to act earlier.

And LaRose, in setting June 2 for the primary, probably was doing merely what he thought Ohio’s chief election officer should do.

Now both men are being criticized roundly, by both Republicans and Democrats.

State Democratic Party leaders have filed a lawsuit against LaRose, insisting legislators should schedule the new election date.

Probably so.

The Ohio Supreme Court will rule on the matter.

But strident criticism of the two has sounded much like politics as usual.

These are not usual times.

This is a time when constructive criticism — not rants to score political points — ought to be viewed as an imperative.

Buckeye State residents deserve that.


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