Georgia postpones presidential primaries over COVID-19 concerns


States in red have postponed their primaries. States in blue have already voted.

On March 15, the state government of Georgia postponed the state’s presidential primaries due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary, which was formerly scheduled for March 24, has been postponed to May 19 in order to avoid large groups in public, which is one of the most common ways for the coronavirus to spread.

Early voting for the primary which began on March 2 was shut down after news of the postponement and will resume on April 27. Ballots that have already been cast will be counted.

This comes after much discussion over the impact of the coronavirus on the Democratic race, both in terms of the rescheduling of primaries and in how presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden will respond to the crisis. Both candidates have used the coronavirus to argue why they are the strongest candidate, with Sanders focusing on the necessity of a single-payer healthcare system and Biden focusing on his experience as Vice President.

It’s important to note the rarity of this occurring. In recent election cycles, primaries have never been rescheduled. This is just one more reminder of how serious and unprecedented the COVID-19 outbreak is.

Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio and Kentucky have also postponed their presidential primaries. The five postponements could change the dynamics of the race significantly. Now, in early April, eyes will be on Alaska, Hawaii and Wyoming as the only remaining contests at that time.