Mar 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

DNC chair urges states to expand voting options amid coronavirus outbreak


Tom Perez. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez on Tuesday advised states to expand mail-in and early-voting options amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, The Hill reports.

Where it stands: The Trump administration implored people not to gather in groups greater than 10, and lawmakers nationwide are encouraging citizens to remain in their homes to prevent contracting or spreading COVID-19. Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana and Puerto Rico have pushed back their originally scheduled primary dates, as Florida, Illinois and Arizona move forward as planned with Tuesday's primaries.

"The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy, and we must do everything we can to protect and expand that right instead of bringing our democratic process to a halt."
— Tom Perez in a statement
  • The DNC has rules in place that cut delegate totals in half for any state that does not complete its primary by June 9, per The Hill.

The state of play: Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders are the only two major Democratic contenders left in the race. Biden maintains a strong delegate lead.

  • "The coronavirus also could amplify calls for Sanders to drop out of the race, especially if Biden comes out of Tuesday night’s primaries in an even stronger position," Jesse Lehrich, a Democratic operative, told AP.
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