New York State is postponing its presidential primary from April 28 to June 23, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday.
“Public health is our number one priority and we will carry out this vital democratic process at a safer date,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter.
New York now joins 10 other states — Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — that have postponed primary elections to a later date because of the coronavirus pandemic. Other states, like Alaska, have kept their primaries on the same date but are doing so entirely by vote-by-mail.
At a press conference on Saturday, Cuomo said that holding New York’s primary on April 28 wouldn’t be “wise,” since it would bring “a lot of people to one location to vote, a lot of people touching one doorknob, a lot of people touching one pen” at a time when the virus likely hasn’t been contained.
The move to June 23 will also consolidate voting for state legislative and congressional races, which had already been scheduled for June, with the presidential primary.
As of midday Saturday, over 52,000 people across New York State have tested positive for the virus and 728 have died. The state is seeking 30,000 ventilators and 140,000 hospital beds for its patients in preparation for its estimated peak in 14 to 21 days.