In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss how Ohio handled its primary election during this global pandemic. They also talk about the controversy over who is and is not required to wear masks in stores and other businesses.
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In this week's episode:
Mail Box As Ballot Box
Ohio’s 69-day primary came to an end on Tuesday. The results did not offer many surprises: Joe Biden won Ohio’s Democratic presidential primary, and all incumbent Congress members won their primaries.
After the March election day was canceled, paper mail-in ballots were the only way people could vote. In the end, about 1.7 million people voted, which is down from 3.3 million in 2016. Secretary of State Frank LaRose said that turnout is pretty good considering the incredibly unusual circumstances of this year's primary.
Some voter advocacy groups disagree, and say turnout could have been higher if the state had extended the mail-in voting period and automatically sent ballots to registered voters.
To Mask Or Not To Mask
Gov. Mike DeWine announced his plan to begin re-opening Ohio’s economy this week. Some offices and manufacturers can reopen on May 4, and retail stores and services can reopen May 12 as long as health and safety guidelines are followed.
For some, it was too fast. For others, not fast enough. Ohio House Democrats want to wait until we have more testing, while some Ohio House Republicans want to open everything immediately.
Another bit of controversy concerns who has to wear masks and when as the state gets back to business. In his order to re-open the state, DeWine said one of his conditions was that employees and customers all had to wear masks to conduct business.
After some apparently forceful pushback, DeWine changed the policy, saying customers don’t have to wear masks but are highly encouraged to do so.
Snollygoster Of The Week
Melissa Ackison was one of the screaming protesters with her face plastered against a Statehouse window who was captured in a picture taken by Columbus Dispatch photographer Josh Bickell. She ran against state Rep. Bill Reineke in the Republican primary for the Ohio Senate's 26th District Seat.
After her loss this week, she released a not-so-gracious video lobbing insults at her political enemies.
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