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Louisiana primary postponed over COVID-19 concerns

More than half of Election Day polling commissioners are 65 and older, the age group most at risk during the coronavirus outbreak across the country.

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Louisiana will be the first state in the country to postpone its elections because of concerns over the coronavirus.

The Louisiana presidential primary was scheduled for April 4. Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said he is requesting Gov. John Bel Edwards issue an executive order to postpone the elections until June and July.

The April 4 primary will now take place June 20 Ardoin announced.

The secretary of state said the decision to postpone elections was made after he deemed a state of emergency exists in Louisiana because of coronavirus concerns.

The previous times elections have been delayed in Louisiana were for hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and hurricanes Gustave and Ike in 2008.

"This weighty decision has been made out of abundance of caution for Louisiana's voters, voting officials and Louisiana as a whole," Ardoin said.

Ardoin said the delay will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. He added that the decision was clear when he took into account that more than half of Election Day polling commissioners are 65 and older, the age group most at risk during the coronavirus outbreak across the country.

Also, polling locations in Louisiana are found at nursing homes, senior centers and other locations where seniors frequent.

The next round of presidential primaries in the country are scheduled for Tuesday. Residents in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio are also set to head to the polls. Election officials in those states have not made postponement decisions.