DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Primary was scheduled for March 17, before former Vice President Joe Biden had become the presumptive Democrat presidential candidate and was still dueling with Senator Bernie Sanders. Ohio was an important state for both candidates if they wanted to win the nomination
The COVID-19 outbreak changed that. The primary was changed from in-person to mail-in and extended to April 28 by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the state legislature. While members of WDTN.com’s First-Time Voter Group felt the extension and the change from in-person voting primary to mail-in was necessary, they said it stung they lost a chance to have a vote in the process because Biden became the presumptive candidate. All four members of Ohio’s First-Time Voter Group contacted for the article said they didn’t send mail ballots for the primary because of it.
“I don’t see the point,” Chaminade-Julienne student Joey Nartker said. “If there isn’t more than one real candidate, it feels like it doesn’t matter anymore.”
Wright State University student Lilith Holloway said with the race decided, she has started looking toward November. “I would have liked to have had more options,” Holloway said.
All four praised Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. They said they were pleased with how the state handled the situation and was surprised at how aggressive DeWine was in preparing the state.
“I really commend (DeWine),” Wright State student Chineye Amagwu said. “He was very proactive when the first case came into Ohio. The way he’s worked with citizens, even people who are anti-lockdown, to try and find solutions for both sides, I really commend him for it.”
Geroan Njumashua of Chaminade Julienne High School said she said most people she knew were caught by surprise by how quickly DeWine canceled classes in the state, but she believed it was the right decision.
“He caught it early,” Njumashua said. “Some people didn’t agree with him and not everyone understood why we were not going to school for three weeks, but our state, it could have been much worse. We’re doing a good job of lowering the numbers.”
The four were less impressed with President Donald Trump. They each had different criticisms of the administration’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Amagwu said the COVID-19 outbreak would be the biggest issue for her going into the November election.
“I think it’s something everyone has to factor in,” Amagwu said. “The outbreak has affected everyone in the United States and across the globe. I think there’s a huge need for change. When you think about the whole pandemic, it’s sad to see how things were handled – not just a month ago but how they’re currently being handled. Just the communication being put out by the administration is very appalling and disappointing.”
For preliminary results of today’s election primary, visit WDTN.com.