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Joe Biden wins Ohio’s mail-in presidential primary

Bloomberg April 28 | Updated on April 29, 2020 Published on April 29, 2020

Democratic US presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden   -  REUTERS

Joe Biden won Ohio’s Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday in a mail-in only contest that replaced regular voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Associated Press declared the former Vice President the winner with 74 per cent of the vote with just a few precincts reporting.

The primary had been scheduled for March 17, but was postponed due to concerns about safety and eventually conducted only by mail. The State has 153 delegates, roughly 4 per cent of the pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

 

The postponement of many primaries and New York state’s outright cancellation means that the total number of delegates could be different by the time of the convention.

After Bernie Sanders dropped out earlier this month, Biden is left with no significant challenger remaining for his party’s nomination at the convention, which was also pushed back and is now scheduled for late August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Voter turnout spikes in Kansas

The Kansas Democratic Party says turnout for its mail-in May 2 presidential primary has more than tripled compared with the states 2016 caucus.

Kansas Democratic Party Chair Vicki Hiatt said that the party has already processed over 1,38,400 ballots, up 352 per cent from the 2016 caucus totals. Kansas dropped the caucus format last year. This years surge occurred even though there is no contest in the primary.

“It is very exciting to see such a significant increase in voter turnout for the 2020 presidential primary and it is a testament to the Democratic enthusiasm building among Kansas voters for the last three years,” Hiatt said in a statement.

Hiatt said Kansas’ success should guide the discussion over whether to move away from in-person voting in the November election. Amidst a nationwide debate over vote-by-mail, Kansas’ latest turnout results make us the most recent state to prove vote-by-mail is a safe, secure and accessible way to run an election during a global health crisis, Hiatt said.

Coronavirus impact

Two-thirds of Americans believe the November presidential election will be disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey from the Pew Research Centre released Tuesday.

Some 67 per cent of respondents, including 80 per cent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents and half of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, said it was likely the coronavirus outbreak would significantly disrupt peoples ability to vote. Only 7 per cent said it was not at all likely that COVID-19 would significantly disrupt the election.

Still, most Americans are confident that the election will be conducted fairly and accurately, though only 14 per cent are very confident that it will be.

The survey also showed strong support for voting by mail, with 70 per cent in favour of allowing any voter to cast a ballot by mail and 52 per cent in favour conducting all elections by mail.

The survey of 4,917 adults was conducted April 7-12 and has a margin of error of 2.1 percentage points

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Published on April 29, 2020
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