Joe Biden Seeks to Clinch Democratic Party Nomination in Nearly a Dozen Primaries Tuesday
June 2 was supposed to be the finish line for what seemed like an endless 2020 U.S. presidential primary campaign. In most election years, a party’s nominee for president of the United States is locked up by then. For the last 33 months, 33 people campaigned for the Democratic nomination for president. The June 2 primary states could possibly crown a nominee. But then the coronavirus pandemic hit and dramatically scrambled the campaign calendar. In mid-March, states started to postpone their primary elections to prevent crowds at voting places and to buy time to expand vote-by-mail opportunities. Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and the District of Columbia were already scheduled to hold primary elections next Tuesday. However, in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, six other states postponed their primaries until June 2 — making it the second biggest day for selecting delegates behind “Super Tuesday” on March 3 when roughly a third of all the delegates to the Democratic national convention were chosen. The six states are Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.WATCH: Tuesday primary electionsSorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
Voters drop off ballots in the Washington State primary, March 10, 2020 in Seattle.Currently, five states hold elections by mail only. Most of the other states allow voters to request an absentee ballot without needing an excuse, such as military duty, disability or being away from home on Election Day. A few states still require a valid excuse and are not making an exception for the coronavirus. Steven Mulroy, a University of Memphis law professor who represents several voters, is suing the governor of Tennessee to loosen absentee ballot requirements. “It is an unreasonable burden on our fundamental right to vote to require that we vote in person when we know that congregating with others in person creates a significant risk of infection and then transmission of the disease to other people, many of whom will have underlying conditions that make them particularly vulnerable,” Mulroy said. Idaho was among 13 states that moved their primaries to June 2 or beyond. The state decided to conduct the primary by mail only. More than 400,000 people — 47% of Idaho’s registered voters —- asked for absentee ballots, an “unprecedented response,” according to the secretary of state’s office. The deadline for Idaho voters to turn in their ballots is June 2.