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Electoral assessors wearing protective masks give a voting ballot on March 15. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

France is electing mayors and municipal councils leaders on Sunday, despite a public ban on gatherings of more than 100 people and closures of schools, restaurants, clubs and more due to the coronavirus, AP reports.

The big picture: Public officials around the world must decide if and how to hold elections in a pandemic.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron decided against delaying the elections over concerns that it would be viewed as undemocratic.
  • In the U.S., Louisiana and Georgia have pushed back their primaries to June 20 and May 19, respectively. Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio have announced their March 17 primaries will go on as scheduled.
  • The U.K. postponed May 7 local elections, including for mayor of London, for a year.

How it works: The French government issued guidelines to polling stations nationwide, including enforcing a 3-foot gap between voters waiting in lines, providing alcoholic gel and disinfectant wipes for voting machines, and encouraging voters to bring their own pens to sign voter registration documents.

By the numbers: Sunday is the first of two rounds of voting for the country's 35,000 communes. The virus is expected to reduce voter turnout.

  • France currently has more than 4,400 cases of the new coronavirus, with at least 91 reported deaths.

Go deeper: Israel and France to close restaurants and cafes

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
10 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), widely seen as a member of the Republican establishment in Congress, will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.

53 mins ago - Health

Popular independent COVID tracker officially ends daily updates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group of data analysts, researchers, and journalists brought together by The Atlantic, published its final daily update on Monday — the one-year anniversary of its founding.

Why it matters: The project quickly became a vital resource for news media, academic researchers, and everyday Americans to track COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the absence of reliable and public data from the federal government.