Ohio’s presidential primary was called off Monday night, the day before it was scheduled, due to concern over the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite a judge deciding against postponing the election until June, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced on Twitter that polls would not open.

“During this time when we face an unprecedented public health crisis, to conduct an election tomorrow would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at an unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus,” DeWine tweeted.

He added that the director of the Ohio Department of Health, Amy Acton, would order polls remain closed because of a “health emergency.” DeWine noted that Secretary of State Frank LaRose will also “seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options so that every voter who wants to vote will be granted that opportunity.”

Primary contests in Illinois, Arizona and Florida continued as planned on Tuesday.

DeWine’s decision to circumvent a court decision that postponing the election would set a “terrible precedent” marked a shift in the balance of power between the courts and state executive branch.

DeWine and LaRose filed a joint lawsuit Monday afternoon in order to get the election postponed amidst the growing coronavirus pandemic.

Judge Richard Frye declined their request saying, “There are too many factors to balance in this uncharted territory to say that we ought to take it away from the Legislature and elected statewide officials, and throw it to a common pleas court judge in Columbus with 12 hours to go before the election.”

In response to overruling Frye’s decision, DeWine and LaRose issued a joint statement saying that the “healthy and safety of Ohioans” is “the only thing more important than a free and fair election.”

“The only thing more important than a free and fair election is the health and safety of Ohioans,” they said. “The Ohio Department of Health and the CDC have advised against anyone gathering in groups larger than 50 people, which will occur if the election goes forward.”

The Ohio secretary of state’s office said any voter who cast an early ballot or voted by mail will still have their ballot counted, regardless of whether or not the election is delayed.

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