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Budget Creates St. Patrick's Day Primary Over Democrats' Objections

A crowd watches a float in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Cleveland in 2010.
A crowd watches a float in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Cleveland in 2010.

The two year operating budget will move next year’s presidential primary to St. Patrick’s Day. Republicans had to move it to after March 15 so they could award all delegates to a single candidate.

Republicans aren’t expected to have a competitive presidential primary, but Democrats are. They had complained St. Patrick’s Day parades and activities could create problems in finding poll workers and make voting difficult in some areas.

Senate Finance Chair Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) said 28 days of absentee voting covers the last part.

“No, I don't," Dolan said when asked if he thinks Democrats had a point in their concerns. "If between the hours of 6:30 to 7:30 at night on St. Patrick’s Day, if you feel the festivities will keep you from a poll, you have multiple opportunities to vote. I don’t – it’s a non-issue."

Dolan notes Ohioans will vote on the same day as people in Arizona, Florida and Illinois – where Chicago hosts major St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  

And why not move it later? Dolan said moving the primary to a week later would have made candidates’ paperwork due on Christmas Eve.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.
Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.