14 states have postponed their primaries - here's the list
Has COVID-19 affected elections in your state?
By Lorelei Yang, Countable News
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt many aspects of everyday life, including throwing the presidential nominating process into chaos.
As of March 30, presidential primaries have been pushed back in 14 states and Puerto Rico. Additionally, runoffs and special elections in other states have also been impacted.
Here are the places that have rescheduled or altered plans for presidential primaries, runoffs and special elections thus far:
- Vote-by-mail deadline has been extended from a March 24 postmark date to an April 10 receipt date.
- Alaska Democrats have all been mailed ballots, but can now also download one from the state party’s website.
- Has moved its primary runoff election to July 14 (originally scheduled for March 31).
- Alabama’s primary runoff includes several high-profile races, including the Senate race between former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville (who has been endorsed by President Donald Trump). The winner will run against Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), who was elected in a special election after Sessions vacated his seat to join the Trump administration.
- The May 12 special election in the 25th Congressional District has been moved to mail-in only.
- Gov. Ned Lamont has moved the state’s presidential primary to June 2 (it was originally scheduled for April 28).
- Gov. John Carney issued an executive order postponing the presidential primary to June 2 (it was originally scheduled for April 28).
- Gov. Carney’s executive order also designed COVID-19 as a valid excuse for casting an absentee ballot.
- Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has delayed the state’s presidential primary to May 19 (originally scheduled for March 24).
- Voters who have already cast ballots in the presidential primary due to early voting will not have to cast a new ballot; they will have the option of casting a ballot in May with all races except the presidential race (Georgia’s down-ballot offices such as U.S. senator and representative were already scheduled for a May 19 primary day).
- The state has scuppered plans to open 21 in-person voting centers in favor of sending another wave of mail ballots to anyone who registers with the party by April 4.
- A new deadline for mailing ballots back hasn’t been announced yet; however, the state party now says results won’t be available until late May, indicating the primary will be significantly delayed.
- Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an executive order delaying its primaries for both president and down-ballot offices to June 2 (they were originally scheduled for May 5).
- The Indiana Election Commission has made absentee voting allowable for all voters (normally, Indiana requires an excuse to request an absentee ballot).
- Has postponed its presidential primary to June 23.
- The new date is less than three weeks before the Democratic National Convention and later than allowable by DNC rules, so could run into logistical and rules challenges.
- Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and Gov. John Bel Edwards, citing a state law allowing them to move elections in emergency situations, were the first state political leaders to delay their state’s primary.
- The primary is now scheduled for June 20. However, this is almost two weeks after the last possible date allowed by the Democratic National Committee, June 9, so is subject to change pending discussions with the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee.
- Has postponed its statewide primary - which includes the Baltimore mayor’s race, U.S. house contests, and presidential primary - to June 2 (originally scheduled for April 28). Early voting will begin May 21 and run through May 28.
- The special Baltimore-area congressional election for the 7th Congressional District has been shifted to mail-in ballots only. The result of this race will fill the seat of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD).
- Gov. Tate Reeves has delayed the state’s Congressional primary runoff for the 2nd Congressional District to June 23 (previously scheduled for March 31).
- The runoff is between Thomas L. Carey and Brian Flowers, who are competing for the Republican nomination against Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), who has been in Congress since winning a special election in 1993.
- Will conduct its June 9 down-ballot primary predominantly by mail.
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo has postponed the state’s presidential primary to June 23 (originally scheduled for April 28).
- Has delayed its Congressional primary runoff to June 23 (previously scheduled for May 12).
- The state’s primary has been converted to an all-mail voting process: all residents of the state will receive ballots by mail, which must be received by 7:30 p.m. on April 28 or postmarked on or before April 27 and received by May 8.
- Previously, Secretary of State Frank LaRose had issued a directive postponing the primary to June 2—this has been overridden by the new mail-in-only process.
- Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced has signed a bill moving the primary to April 26 (it was originally scheduled for March 29).
- The presidents of the Puerto Rico Democratic Party and State Elections Commission retain the right to further postpone the primary if the COVID-19 crisis hasn’t abated by April 26.
- Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers have struck a deal to delay the state’s presidential primary to June 2 (originally scheduled for April 28).
- The state will let counties combine separate polling places because some are currently located inside nursing homes, putting older residents at risk.
- At the request of the state Board of Elections, Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order moving the presidential primary to June 2 (it was originally scheduled for April 28).
- Gov. Raimondo’s executive order also directed the state Board of Elections to plan for conducting “a predominantly mail ballot primary."
- Has moved primary runoff elections to July 14 (previously scheduled for May 26).
- The most prominent runoff is the race between former Air Force helicopter pilot MJ Hegar and state Sen. Royce West for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
- Has cancelled the in-person caucus component of its vote-by-mail/caucus hybrid presidential primary and removed the option for people to vote in person.
- People who registered too late to receive ballots in the mail the first time around will now be mailed ballots.
- Voters can request replacement ballots - to cover situations where they tossed the mail ballot in anticipation of voting in person - until March 31.
- Ballots arriving by April 17 will be counted (previously, they had to be postmarked by March 20 or dropped off by April 4).
(Photo Credit: iStock / adamkaz)
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