New York postpones primaries due to coronavirus

New York voters
Students are shown voting in Colorado during Super Tuesday earlier this month. Since then, New York has joined several states in postponing primaries. (Bob Strong/UPI file photo)

ALBANY, N.Y. (UPI) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday the state will postpone its primary amid growing coronavirus cases.

The decision will move the state’s presidential preference primary from April 28 to June 23 when state legislative and congressional races were already being held, Cuomo said.

The new date is more than two weeks after the June 9 deadline the Democratic National Committee has set for voting. With other states announcing postponement of primary elections earlier, a DNC spokesperson had told ABC News that a late vote may result in a delegate penalty, such as “a state losing at least half of its delegates.”

The State Board of Elections’ staff said that having an entirely mail-in ballot instead was not possible because they were not prepared to handle the volume.

New York, which leads the nation in COVID-19 cases, with 52,318 cases and 728 deaths, as of 1:07 p.m. Saturday, joins at least 10 other states that have already moved the primary, along with the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Louisiana similarly postponed its presidential preference primaries scheduled for April 4 to June 20.

Other states postponing their primaries include Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

In addition to postponing the primary election from April 28 to June 2, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo also said that state will work to hold a mostly mail-in ballot primary.

Similarly, Alaska Democrats announced in a Facebook post that in-person voting statewide scheduled for April 4 would be canceled and people can instead vote by mail with the deadline extended from March 24 to April 10.

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Reporting by Sommer Brokaw

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