Apr 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Sanders urges Wisconsin to delay April 7 primary

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders called for Wisconsin to delay its April 7 primaries to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to a press release from his campaign on Wednesday.

Why it matters: So far, 14 states and one territory have postponed their primaries because of the pandemic, but Wisconsin has held firm to its date.

  • Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, requested that absentee ballots be sent to all of the state’s 3.3 million voters, the New York Times reports.
  • That's set up a battle between Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the state over loosening voting restrictions in the midst of the pandemic.

What he's saying: "The state should delay Tuesday’s vote, extend early voting and work to move entirely to vote-by-mail. While we wait for a decision, we urge our supporters to vote-by-mail," Sanders said.

The big picture: The virus has motivated many state legislators to consider expanding voting options within their states — but laws, political calculations and a hefty price tag could hamstring those efforts, Axios' Stef Kight and Alexi McCammond report.

  • 12 states still don't let all voters cast their ballots by mail.

Go deeper: Biden and Sanders outline coronavirus plans of attack

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Florida reported on Wednesday its largest number of new novel coronavirus cases in a single day since April 17. 1,317 people tested positive to take the state total to 58,764, per the state's health department. Despite the rise, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said bars and clubs could reopen on Friday.

By the numbers: More than 107,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus and over 1.8 million people have tested positive, per data from Johns Hopkins. More than 479,000 Americans have recovered and over 18 million tests have been conducted.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Coronavirus hospitalizations keep falling

Data: COVID Tracking Project, Harvard Global Health Institute; Note: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee and Puerto Rico have not reported hospitalizations consistently. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to decline, particularly in New York and other northeastern states that were among the hardest hit by the virus.

Yes, but: Some states are still recording stagnant or rising amounts of hospitalizations.