Delaware postpones presidential primary due to COVID-19

March 25 (UPI) — Delaware Gov. John Carney has rescheduled the state’s presidential primary from the end of April to the beginning of June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carney pushed the primary from April 28 to June 2 on Tuesday as part of a modification to his State of Emergency Declaration, which was issued on March 12.

“Delawareans have a basic fundamental right to vote,” Carney said in a statement. “Today’s order will preserve that right and allow Delawareans to vote by absentee ballot in the presidential primary to June 2.”

Along with rescheduling the primary, Carney’s declaration modification prevents lenders from issuing foreclosures and landlords from evicting tenants or charging late fees or interest amid the crisis, during which the state has confirmed 104 cases of COVID-19 since March 11, including 17 cases since Monday, the Delaware Division of Public Health reported on Tuesday.

The alteration also prohibits residential utility companies from shutting off services or charging late fees, the declaration states.

The news follows Alaska and Rhode Island rescheduling their primaries on Monday, joining Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and others in postponing their casting of ballots to select candidates to run in November.

However, Delaware may not be the last to do so as the New York Elections Commissioners Association has called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to push its primary from April 28 to June 23.

The commission said in a statement Tuesday that it is finding it “almost impossible to meet mission-critical deadlines for testing machines and preparing ballots because of staff shortages due to the ongoing stay-at-home order.”

New York state is by far the worst affected by the virus in the country, with more than 26,000 confirmed cases, according to a live tally by Johns Hopkins University. New Jersey has the second most number of cases with more than 3,600.