Louisiana will delay its presidential primary election from April 4 to June 20 because of the coronavirus outbreak, making it the first state to postpone a primary because of the virus.
“Safe and secure elections also mean safety to the people of Louisiana,” Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said at a press conference on Friday.
The Democratic National Committee said in a statement to the New York Times that by delaying its primary past the DNC’s June 9 deadline, Louisiana could potentially face “a penalty that would include a state losing at least half of its delegates,” but that the committee would continue to work with states as they adjust their plans because of the coronavirus.
Ohio, Arizona, Florida and Illinois — the next four states to vote in the primary — will be holding their elections as previously scheduled next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Wyoming Democratic Party announced on Thursday that it would be canceling in-person voting during its April 4 caucuses and suspending all county conventions.
“Our priority is ensuring that people are healthy and safe. Holding public events right now would put that in jeopardy, so this is the responsible course of action,” the WDP chair Joe Barbuto said in a statement.
Sunday’s Democratic debate will take place as scheduled, albeit without a live audience and filmed inside CNN’s Washington, D.C. studio.
On Friday, President Donald Trump is also expected to declare a national emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic.