Sanders calls on Wisconsin to delay primary amid coronavirus outbreak
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is calling on Wisconsin to postpone its April 7 primary as reports emerge about chaos surrounding the elections during the coronavirus outbreak.
Most of the states that were scheduled to hold their primaries in late March or early April have delayed the elections to stay in line with government officials’ efforts to keep people at home and away from large gatherings.
But Wisconsin is moving ahead with its scheduled primary next Tuesday.
“People should not be forced to put their lives on the line to vote, which is why 15 states are now following the advice of public health experts and delaying their elections. We urge Wisconsin to join them,” Sanders said in a statement. “The state should delay Tuesday’s vote, extend early voting and work to move entirely to vote-by-mail. While we wait for a decision, we urge our supporters to vote-by-mail.”
Polling stations in Wisconsin have been forced to close due to a lack of workers. The National Guard is reportedly sending members to fill the void.
The last round of primaries took place on March 17 in Arizona, Florida and Illinois. There were questions even then about whether those elections should move forward and the outbreak has only worsened since then. There is a growing sense among political leaders that elections should only be held by mail at the moment, if they’re going to be held at all.
The Democratic National Committee is under pressure to complete the presidential primary between Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, who has a commanding lead in the race.
But state conventions where delegates are allocated are being pushed back and there are questions about whether the national convention can take place as scheduled in Milwaukee at the end of July.
The Democratic National Committee is urging states not to postpone their primaries, but instead to give voters greater access to mail-in or absentee ballots and to expand the hours and locations of polling places to cut down on crowd sizes.
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