The Latest: Florida, Illinois Vote; No Problems Reported
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic presidential primaries (all times local):
Floridians are voting across the state as election officials manage losses of poll workers and changes to polling places because of the coronavirus.
There had been concern some polling places might not open on time Tuesday because of worker absences, but no problems have been reported.
In Ohio, health officials postponed the state's scheduled election. Officials in Arizona and Illinois say they're moving forward with their votes.
In Illinois, Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough said shortly after the polls opened that she had heard of no problems at the county's polling sites and expected “things to go well" Tuesday. Yarbrough says she's “hopeful" the county will have "a good day voting for the people.”
Joe Biden is hoping to widen his lead over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary.
Polls are closed in Ohio on a day that was scheduled for a presidential primary.
The polls didn't open on Tuesday morning after state officials just hours earlier took the extraordinary step to postpone the state’s primary amid coronavirus fears.
Late Monday, state officials declared a health emergency out of fear of exposing voters and volunteer poll workers to the virus. Many of the voters and workers are elderly, considered among the most vulnerable to the virus.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in a video posted overnight on Twitter that it became clear Monday that it was “not going to be possible to conduct an election in a way that was going to be safe for Ohioans.” LaRose pointed to revised federal guidelines that call on Americans to not gather in groups of more than 10 people and urge older people to stay home.
LaRose says in-person voting has been rescheduled for June 2 and voters can cast their ballots by mail.
Arizona, Florida and Illinois are going ahead with their plans for primary voting.
The polls are open in most of Florida for the presidential primary. Precincts are open in all parts of Florida except the Panhandle, which is on Central Time, not Eastern.
Election officials in areas across the state Tuesday were managing losses of poll workers and changes to polling places because of the coronavirus. If not enough poll workers show up, it's possible some polling places might not be able to open.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis says he believes the election can be run safely.
A coalition of progressive groups is suing Florida in an attempt to extend mail-in balloting into next week because of the coronavirus. Dream Defenders, New Florida Majority and Organize Florida want a federal judge to order Florida to allow voters to request mail-in ballots through March 24 and postpone the count until March 27.
In Ohio, health officials postponed the state's scheduled election. Officials in Arizona and Illinois say they're moving forward with the vote.