New Jersey moves primary elections to July

New Jersey moves primary elections to July
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced Wednesday he is signing an executive order to move his state’s primary elections from June 2 to July 7.

Murphy said he hopes the postponement could allow for further improvements that could make in-person voting safe but that he would consider making all the races vote-by-mail contests if it is still not safe for voters to head to the polls.

“Our democracy cannot be a casualty of #COVID19. We want to ensure that every voter can vote without endangering their health or safety,” Murphy tweeted. “We want to preserve the possibility that improvements in the public health situation will allow for in-person voting.

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“But, if we eventually have to make the move to a statewide, [all-vote-by-mail] election, which has never happened before, this extra time will make that task easier.” 

New Jersey has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus. It has the second-highest number of confirmed cases out of all 50 states at more than 44,400.

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The Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) decision last week to move its convention from July 13 to August 17 gave Murphy more flexibility to move his state’s contests. The governor indicated last week that the convention’s date change had influenced his thinking over New Jersey’s primaries.

"We have a lot more flexibility than I thought we had two days ago, and we're going to make a decision on that pretty soon," Murphy said during a press conference last week the day after the DNC’s announcement. "I would be stunned if we stay at June 2."

New Jersey has already postponed its spring school board and special elections until May 12 and mandated they be conducted exclusively by mail.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump| Esper orders hundreds of active-duty troops outside DC sent home day after reversal | Iran releases US Navy veteran Michael White Davis: 72 hours cementing the real choice for November OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs order removing environmental reviews for major projects | New Trump air rule will limit future pollution regulations, critics say | DNC climate group calls for larger federal investment on climate than Biden plan MORE is expected to be the Democratic presidential nominee. His last major opponent, Sen Bernie SandersBernie SandersOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs order removing environmental reviews for major projects | New Trump air rule will limit future pollution regulations, critics say | DNC climate group calls for larger federal investment on climate than Biden plan Google: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting Biden, Trump campaigns Sanders: Police departments that violate civil rights should lose federal funding MORE (I-Vt.), suspended his campaign on Wednesday.