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4 Apr, 2020 23:22

Covid-19 unites Democrats & Republicans: Most voters want primaries postponed

Covid-19 unites Democrats & Republicans: Most voters want primaries postponed

With the US recording the highest number of coronavirus cases, American voters say they would feel uncomfortable going to the polls for the primaries, regardless of their political preferences, a survey has revealed.

More than two-thirds of registered voters believe that the decision to postpone the primaries over Covid-19, which has been made by more than a dozen US states, was the right thing to do, according to a survey by Pew Research Center. This stance was shared by 71 percent of those who support the Democrats, and 64 percent of those on the Republican side. 

Visiting a polling station to cast their ballot amid a pandemic would be uncomfortable for 68 percent of Democrats. The number of those who felt the same way among Republican voters was lower (58 percent). However, for them it was just a theoretical question as the Republican Party will stage no competitive primaries this year due to their man, Donald Trump, already being in the White House.

The survey was conducted between March 19 and 24, right after Ohio announced that it would delay its primaries due to the threat to public health caused by the highly-contagious disease. Since then, a similar decision was made by another 14 states.

"I don't think it's wise to be bringing a lot of people to one location to vote. A lot of people touching one door knob, a lot of people touching one pen, whatever you call it – device on the ballots,” Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York state, which is the hardest-hit by the pandemic, said as he announced the rescheduling of the vote to late June last week.

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The DNC had urged the remaining primary states to use vote by mail as a safer way to hold the election. 

The only place in the US where the primaries will be staged this April despite Covid-19 concerns is Wisconsin. The locals are scheduled to cast their ballots on Tuesday, but nobody would predict the turnout.

The US now has the world's highest number of registered coronavirus cases, with more than 300,000 people testing positive. The death toll has surpassed 8,100, with a record 1,321 patients succumbing to the disease between Thursday and Friday.

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