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The polling station in Auckland, New Zealand, on Saturday. Photo: Rebecca Falconer/Axios

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — The Democrats Abroad primary ended early Wednesday Eastern Time following tense rounds of voting worldwide caused by closed precincts, digital ballots and the novel coronavirus.

How it works: United States citizens living abroad who register as Democrats vote via precincts around the globe. This year's voting took place from March 3-10, but organizers say results will not be announced until March 23 due to a high volume of mail-in ballots. There are 13 pledged delegates at stake.

Of note: Two 2020 contenders dropped out during the Democrats abroad voting window: billionaire Michael Bloomberg on March 4, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren on March 5.

The big picture: Collecting votes from Americans living abroad is already a complex process, but recent events compounded the challenges.

  • The novel coronavirus made voting in person harder for Democrats in some countries. American citizens living in Cambodia and South Korea were told they had to vote online because of outbreaks there, per Time Magazine.
  • A nationwide lockdown in Italy, where the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has surged, limited Americans' ability to reach polling facilities.
  • Democrats abroad in China also faced closed facilities. Usually, voters could cast mail-in ballots, but fears of packages being stopped caused organizers to urge citizens to submit their votes through an email system.

Election security: Digital voting can pose concerns over election security, but Democrats Abroad New Zealand Chairman Mike Haught said they have a robust system in place.

  • "We've been working with remote balloting and remote systems for quite a long time. We have a system that's evolved the last few elections," he said.
  • "You can vote online, but we have a paper trail; we make sure everything is checked. We've got plenty of people on hand to keep an eye on the ballot box so it's not unattended."

Why it matters: Per Democrats Abroad New Zealand Vice Chairwoman Genice Paullay-Beazley: "We do have certain issues that are very exclusive to people living abroad, but we're still Americans and because we have a citizen-based tax system. I don't agree with that, but while we do, it's even more important that ... our individual and our expressive needs are heard."

Go deeper: In photos: American expats cast their Democratic primary ballots in New Zealand

Go deeper

Using apps to prevent deadly police encounters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mobile phone apps are evolving in ways that can stop rather than simply document deadly police encounters with people of color — including notifying family and lawyers about potential violations in real time.

Why it matters: As states and cities face pressure to reform excessive force policies, apps that monitor police are becoming more interactive, gathering evidence against rogue officers as well as posting social media videos to shame the agencies.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
11 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.