Ohio calls off primary hours before polls open amid coronavirus fears

People participate in early voting, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP)

Ohio health officials ordered the state’s polling stations closed for Tuesday’s Democratic primary, as the governor defied a court ruling and declared a health emergency over coronavirus.

“While the polls will be closed tomorrow, Secretary of State @FrankLaRose will seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options so that every voter who wants to vote will be granted that opportunity” at a later date, Governor Mike DeWine said late Monday on Twitter.

DeWine said conducting an election -- featuring Democratic presidential nomination frontrunner Joe Biden and rival Bernie Sanders -- under current conditions “would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at an unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05