Maryland postpones primary over coronavirus fears

Maryland postpones primary over coronavirus fears
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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday announced that the state would postpone its late-April primary date by just over a month as authorities struggle to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and urge against large gatherings.

At a press conference in Annapolis, Hogan said that the April 28 primary would be moved to June 2.

“I have two main priorities — keeping Marylanders safe and protecting their constitutional right to vote,” Hogan said, according to The Baltimore Sun.

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A special election to fill the seat of Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBlack GOP candidate accuses Behar of wearing black face in heated interview Overnight Health Care: US won't join global coronavirus vaccine initiative | Federal panel lays out initial priorities for COVID-19 vaccine distribution | NIH panel: 'Insufficient data' to show treatment touted by Trump works House Oversight Democrats to subpoena AbbVie in drug pricing probe MORE (D-Md.), who died while in office last year, will go forward though it will be held primarily by mail, Hogan added.

“Free and fair elections are the very foundation of American democracy and while there are many valid reasons for unease and uncertainty right now, ensuring that the voices of Maryland citizens are heard shouldn’t be one of them,” the governor said.

“It is imperative that the people of the 7th Congressional District have a voice in the House of Representatives and that Maryland has a full delegation representing our state in Congress,” he added of Cummings's district.

Hogan added that state officials would work to get mail-in ballots to every voter in the 7th District. His actions Tuesday come as the state has already closed restaurants, bars and all other nonessential businesses while allowing delivery and carry-out food service to continue.

The state has also shuttered schools for two weeks and restricted foot traffic at its largest airport, Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

A spokesman for the governor also noted that the Preakness Stakes would be postponed until September, following Monday's announcement by the organizers of the Kentucky Derby.

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