US: Maryland postpones primary until June over virus

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Maryland will delay its April 28 primary for two months as the U.S. grapples with the spread of the novel coronavirus, state Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday.

"I have two main priorities: keeping Marylanders safe and protecting their constitutional right to vote," Hogan said during a press conference.

"It would endanger public health to allow thousands of people to assemble in places like schools and senior centers, which are already closed under the state of emergency, and it would put Marylanders at risk, especially the poll workers and election judges, most of whom are retirees and in the most vulnerable population."

The election will now be held June 2, he said.

There are so far 57 confirmed coronavirus cases in Maryland after the number of cases increased by more than 50% since Monday, which Hogan called "the largest one-day jump" for the state.

Hogan said there are over confirmed 130 COVID-19 cases in the greater Washington, D.C. region, which includes Maryland, the capital and Virginia.

Maryland is just the latest state to postpone its primary ahead of national presidential elections slated for November.

Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Ohio have also said they would take action as the U.S. seeks to clamp down on the virus.