HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut has decided to move its presidential primary to a later date to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Twitter the April 28 primary will now be held June 2. Connecticut is the latest state to postpone primary elections amid the global pandemic. Maryland, another state that was part of the April 28 primary, dubbed the “Acela Primary” or “I-95 Primary,” also moved its primary to June 2.
Danbury was slated to hold a referendum on a bonding package on April 28. Mayor Mark Boughton says that vote will also be moved to June 2.
The other states to postpone are Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio.
Merrill said moving the primary date is a “good first step” toward insuring Connecticut voters can have a say in the selection of presidential candidates while ensuring they’re safe at the polls. She said it will also give local election officials more time to prepare.
“Changing an election date is not something we do lightly – it’s a recognition of the severity & nature of this crisis, and more steps may be necessary to guarantee that every CT voter has an opportunity to cast their ballot,” she wrote in a tweet.
Earlier this week, the presidents of associations representing local registrars of voters and town clerks sent letters to Merrill, asking her to call on Lamont to postpone the primary by using his authority under a recently enacted state emergency order.
Connecticut’s change makes it mathematically impossible for Joe Biden to clinch the nomination before May.
The delay of the primary comes as Connecticut officials warn there will likely be more positive cases of the coronavirus in the coming weeks. Officials announced the state’s second death on Thursday.
COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, has stricken thousands across the globe but usually presents only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For older adults and people with other health problems, it can cause complications or sometimes death. Most people recover.