(Washington) The Democratic governor of Wisconsin on Monday ordered the postponement until June 9 of the elections planned in his state Tuesday, including the primary Democrat pitting Joe Biden against Bernie Sanders, because of fears of contagion of the coronavirus.
France Media Agency
“I have an obligation to protect people and that is why I signed this decree today,” wrote Tony Evers, the governor of this American “Midwest” state, where the population has been asked to stay at home since the end of March to avoid the spread of COVID – 19.
The Assembly and the Senate of this state, controlled by the Republicans, had not followed up this weekend on his request to postpone the poll. The opposition could therefore quickly appeal to court against the governor's decision.
At stake: the Democratic primary, but also local elections which are sometimes crucial for the balance of power in the state, which explains above all the political showdown around the ballot.
“People should not be forced to risk their lives to vote,” independent senator Bernie Sanders denounced last week, calling for the election to be postponed.
Former Vice President Joe Biden left it to the Wisconsin authorities, while pleading for more postal votes.
There is no great suspense about the outcome of this election, according to the electoral statistics site FiveThirtyEight which gives Joe Biden seven chances out of eight, 34 years old, to win Wisconsin.
The former right-hand man of Barack Obama has such an advance in number of delegates, necessary to win the Democratic nomination and challenge Donald Trump on November 3, that a victory for Bernie Sanders, 78 years in Wisconsin would not be enough to close the gap.
Lack of election workers
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, no Democratic primary has been organized since 17 March. Already 15 States as well as the territory of Puerto Rico had announced the postponement of their polls, before Wisconsin. Voting will only be by correspondence for the other polls scheduled for April (Alaska on 10, Wyoming on 17).
The postponement of the poll scheduled for Tuesday could further increase the pressure on Bernie Sanders to throw in the towel, to allow Joe Biden to focus on his campaign against Donald Trump.
The United States crossed the bar on Monday 10 000 identified dead of the new coronavirus, for more than 350 000 officially reported cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, the count of which refers.
More than 100 Wisconsin municipalities warned that they did not have enough election workers to open even one polling station on Tuesday. Governor Evers had decided to call in members of the Wisconsin National Guard to help, but expected that this would not be enough to make up for all the absences.
In order to allow more voters to avoid the polling stations, a Wisconsin judge had extended by six days the deadline for voting by proxy, which can be done by mail, until 13 April. Republicans appealed the decision to the Supreme Court on Saturday.