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Citing Concerns About Access For 'Seniors,' West Virginia's Governor Delays Primary

West Virginia is the latest state to delay its primary because of the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Jim Justice announced that the May 12 primary is being pushed back to June 9.

"I want this to be the biggest turnout of all time," Justice said while announcing the change via web stream. "Because all of us should treasure the opportunity and the privilege to vote, and I want us to have that opportunity, and by moving this it will give us a lot better chance to do so."

Justice said the goal is to allow in-person voting, and suggested he's particularly concerned about voting access for seniors during the pandemic.

"For our seniors that have had the opportunity to be able to come and to vote...I'm very, very hopeful by extending this, they'll have the opportunity to do just that," Justice said.

West Virginia joins more than a dozen states including New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio who've pushed back their primaries in response to the virus. In Ohio, Democrats sued unsuccessfully to block the delay.

Meanwhile, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, is calling on Wisconsin to delay its primary, which is scheduled for April 7.

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Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.
Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.
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