Kentucky is postponing its May 19 primary election to June 23 due to growing concerns over the spread of Chinese coronavirus, Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams announced on Monday.
Adams said he and Gov. Andy Beshear agreed it was in the best interest of the public to reschedule the election.
“Postponing the primary was not an easy decision, but the Republican secretary of state and Democratic governor agree and so do county clerks of both parties, and they are our frontline election administrators,” Adams said in a statement.
“My hope is that this delay will allow us to have a normal election,” he continued. “Even if not, this delay will allow me, the state board of elections and our county clerks time to assess what changes we must make to ensure a successful primary election.”
He warned there could be more changes but pitched the decision as a “first step to buy us time and keep our citizens as safe as possible”:
The May 19th primary election is delayed to June 23rd. Find out why here: pic.twitter.com/qMAlT4RS4N
— KY Sec. of State Michael G. Adams (@KYSecState) March 16, 2020
Here’s the executive order moving KY’s May 19 elections to June 23. pic.twitter.com/TpXiT0BXk5
— KY Sec. of State Michael G. Adams (@KYSecState) March 17, 2020
The decision came at the last minute in the Buckeye State. Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed an order to close the polls on the eve of the state’s election day:
Here is the three-page order signed tonight by @OHdeptofhealth Director @DrAmyActon that closes all polling locations in #Ohio due to the risk of #COVID19 faced by both voters and poll workers. #COVID19OhioReady pic.twitter.com/XRd4zJH4so
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 17, 2020