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When do polls close for the March 17 Democratic primaries?

Doctor on why social distancing is crucial

Voters are scheduled to go the polls in Illinois, Arizona and Florida despite the coronavirus pandemic, which spurred Ohio to delay in-person voting until June. 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Monday called for the primary to be postponed because of the virus, setting off a dizzying legal back and forth that led to widespread confusion. DeWine backed a last-minute lawsuit asking an Ohio judge to order the polls closed, but the judge declined, saying it would set a "terrible precedent."

Not long after the decision was handed down, DeWine announced that the state's health department had ordered polls closed, despite the ruling. "Health Director Dr. Amy Acton will order the polls closed as a health emergency," DeWine said in a statement.

The state Supreme Court issued a decision overnight that effectively allows the polls to be closed. The Ohio secretary of state issued a directive ordering in-person voting suspended until June 2, although mail-in and absentee ballots will still be collected. 

Poll closing time by state for March 17 primaries

  • Arizona: 10 p.m. ET
  • Florida: 8 p.m. ET * Polls begin to close at 7 p.m. ET
  • Illinois: 8 p.m. ET
  • Ohio: Delayed until June 2

The Illinois Board of Elections said Monday that despite DeWine's announcement, Illinois will be "proceeding with plans for tomorrow's primary as scheduled."

At a news conference on Monday, President Trump said delaying elections would be "not a very good thing."

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