As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic scrambles how states will administer long-scheduled elections for presidential primaries and local races, one election-security expert says that officials need to do a better job of clarifying who has the authority to reschedule or change the formats of upcoming votes.
“Things voters deserve to have is a clear set of authorities, a clear set of guidelines,” said Chris DeLuzio of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security.
Already, five states — Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Maryland — have delayed their primary elections from March and April until June, amid fears that drawing people out to polling places could sully efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes. In four of the states, governors or secretaries of state had the authority to delay elections. In Ohio, which was scheduled to hold its primary Tuesday, the vote was only called off at the last minute when the state health director ordered polling places closed, after a judge rejected a lawsuit by Gov. Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose to push the election back.
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