- The Washington Times
Friday, March 13, 2020

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana postponed its scheduled presidential primary by two months Friday in response to the ongoing coronavirus health crisis, officials said.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced the primary, slated to be held on April 4, will now be June 20.

Mr. Ardoin is expected to provide more details at a press conference later Friday.

While major professional and college sports events, along with many college campuses, have shut down, Louisiana is the first political event to be postponed because of the virus. The state had 33 presumptive cases of coronavirus as of Friday morning, with the biggest cluster of those — 23 — being New Orleans.

Many of Louisiana’s Election Day commissioners are 65 or older, and to date the coronavirus has been most lethal to the elderly. In addition, 32 polling locations are in nursing homes of senior facilities, according to the secretary of state’s office.

“This decision has been made out of an absolute abundance of caution for Louisiana’s voters, voting officials and the general public as a whole,” Mr. Ardoin said.

The primary was formally switched when Mr. Ardoin’s request to move it to June 20 was approved by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Although it does not appear to have moved voting days because of health scares in the past, Louisiana has altered its election schedule because of major hurricanes and natural disasters, officials said.

• James Varney can be reached at jvarney@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.