GOP official: Ohio election on St. Patrick's Day would be OK

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Republican who is Ohio's elections chief says the state can handle having its presidential primary on St. Patrick's Day next year if lawmakers make that change in the still-unsettled state budget.

The proposed move from March 10 to March 17 drew objections from some Democratic lawmakers, particularly from the Cleveland area, which has one of the nation's biggest St. Patrick's Day parades. They say the change could hamper voting and poll worker availability.

In a letter responding to them, Secretary of State Frank LaRose noted that Ohio has four weeks of early voting and that Arizona, Florida and Illinois also are having their primaries on the unofficial holiday.

The Ohio Republican Party says it sought to change the election date in response to national GOP rules on awarding delegates.

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