Gov. Northam recommends upcoming Virginia elections be postponed amid COVID-19 outbreak

Gov. Northam recommends upcoming Virginia elections be postponed amid COVID-19 outbreak
People vote at Riverside High School for Wisconsin's primary election on Tuesday April 7, 2020, in Milwaukee. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Source: AP Photo/Morry Gash)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam hopes to postpone the upcoming Virginia elections in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The governor announced that he will ask the General Assembly to move both the May General Election and the June Primary Elections during his Wednesday briefing.

Suggested Date Changes:

  • General Election: Proposing to move from May 5 to Nov. 3
  • Primary Elections: Proposing to move from June 9 to June 23

Northam says no one should have to choose between their health and voting.

“As other states have shown, conducting an election in the middle of this global pandemic would bring unprecedented challenges and potential risk to voters and those who work at polling places across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Making these decisions now will help election officials prepare and implement the necessary changes. This is about protecting the health and safety of Virginians during this pandemic and ensuring our citizens can make their voices heard in a safe, fair, and uniform manner. I urge the General Assembly to do their part and take action to move our upcoming elections.”

The General Assembly will have to make the final decision on the governor’s plan, which includes the following measures:

  • There will be one ballot in November.
  • Voters who are qualified in November will be able to vote in November. An individual who was not qualified in May but is qualified in November will be able to vote.
  • All absentee ballots already cast will be discarded. Virginians will have an opportunity to vote for local elected officials in November.
  • Those officials whose terms are to expire as of June 30, 2020 will continue in office until their successors have been elected on the Nov. 3, 2020 and have been qualified to serve.

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