(NEW YORK) — Primary voters in the key battleground state of Michigan as well as Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho, North Dakota and Washington state headed to the polls Tuesday in a closely watched contest that could help determine the next phase of the Democratic race for the presidential nomination.
There are 352 delegates up for grabs across the six states.
Here’s how the night unfolded:
1:35 a.m. ABC News projects Biden wins Idaho
Based on an analysis of the vote, ABC News projects that former Vice President Joe Biden will win the Idaho primary.
12:12 a.m. The state of voting in the states as the primary night draws to a close
With an estimated 68% of the expected vote counted in the Washington Democratic primary, Biden and Sanders are literally tied. The vote is coming in slowly.
A winner is not expected before the morning.
In Idaho, with 41% of the expected vote in, Biden is leading.
There are only 2,200 votes counted so far in North Dakota — all mail-in. They have not begun to release any election day vote.
11:43 p.m. Sanders’ senior adviser reacts to tonight’s losses
Sanders’ senior adviser and speechwriter, David Sirota, took to Twitter after what appeared to be a disappointing night so far for the Vermont senator.
Sirota listed “things I’m sad about,” including what he said was a setback for Medicare for All, a setback for the Green New Deal and a lack of an endorsement from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
“[Warren] didn’t endorse. I wish she did, because she’s good & our movement needs her. Still hope she will,” he wrote.
Sanders did not speak to the public or address the media as he traveled to Burlington, Vermont.
11:10 p.m. ABC News projects Trump wins Idaho
Based on an analysis of the vote, ABC News projects that Trump will win the Idaho primary.
11:09 p.m. Biden addresses coronavirus concerns, says ‘we need American leadership’
Biden said that tonight’s projected wins exemplified that the country is “a step closer to restoring decency, dignity and honor to the White House.”
He also took time to address novel coronavirus concerns and the need for American leadership.
“The Governor of Ohio asked the presidential campaigns to cancel their indoor public events in Cleveland, where it’s large large crowds of people. And that’s what we did, due to the coronavirus. … This is a matter, this whole coronavirus issue, is a matter of presidential leadership. And later this week I’ll be speaking to you on what I believe the nation should be doing to address this virus,” he said.
Biden later said that with “so much fear in the country” and “so much fear across the world, we need American leadership.”
“We need presidential leadership that’s honest, trusted, truthful, and steady — reassuring leadership. If I’m given the honor of becoming your President, I promise you I’ll strive to give the nation that very leadership every day — every day I have the privilege to hold office,” Biden said.
11 p.m. Biden campaign is ‘very much alive’
Biden touted his campaign as “very much alive” after projected wins out of Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri.
“To all those who have been knocked down, to all those who have been counted out, left behind this is your campaign,” Biden said during a speech in Philadelphia. “Just over a week ago many of the pundits declared that this candidacy was dead. Now we’re very much alive.”
He did not claim victory, but said “it looks like we’re gonna have another good night.” Results out of Idaho, North Dakota and Washington state have not yet come out.
“It’s more than a comeback. In my view, our campaign, it’s a comeback for the soul of this nation,” Biden added.
He also took time to thank Sanders and his supporters, saying they share a common goal of beating Trump.
11 p.m. Washington state voters zero in on ability to handle a crisis
As polls close in Washington state, handling a crisis may have been on the minds of voters there, given the new coronavirus outbreak, with an advantage for Biden: They picked him by 46-27% over Sanders in preliminary poll results as best able to handle a major crisis, according to preliminary exit poll results.
Indeed, 38% of Washington voters in initial poll results said they were very concerned about the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, with an additional 44% somewhat concerned. Those who were very concerned voted 52-24% in favor of Biden. Concern was higher among older voters, typically a strong group for Biden.
11 p.m. Meanwhile in Michigan, the vote counting continues
As the results of the primary in Michigan were tabulated, the Secretary of State’s office announced that nearly one million people voted by mail, almost twice the number of absentee ballots that were cast in the state’s 2016 presidential primary.
Further, said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, more than “13,000 people registered and voted today, with over 6,000 doing so after 4:30pm today,” noting that many of the individuals who registered today were young voters.
The processing of absentee ballots only began this morning, and given the increase in the number of absentee ballots, juxtaposed to the influx of registering these new voters, the final results will be delayed until tomorrow afternoon.
10:54 p.m. Turnout surpasses 2016 levels in Michigan
In Michigan, with 85% of the expected vote in, turnout has surpassed 2016’s levels, with 1,444,242 ballots counted in the Democratic primary so far, compared to 1,205,552 ballots cast in 2016.
With 64% of the expected vote reporting in Mississippi, turnout is currently at 208,371 vote, which is 92% of 2016’s total.
And in Missouri, with 69% of the expected vote reporting, Democratic primary turnout is at 92% of what it was in 2016, when 629,425 people voted.
Popular vote so far tonight:
Joe Biden 1,158,576 (58%) Bernie Sanders 699,045 (35%) Tulsi Gabbard 12,659 (1%)
10:51 p.m. HAPPENING NOW: 2020 candidate Joe Biden holds a news conference in Philadelphia
Joe Biden, fresh from projected wins in key states, is holding a news conference in Philadelphia.
10:51 p.m. Fewer late deciders compared to last week
“Some people on Twitter have been asking about how the late deciders tonight differ from those on Super Tuesday,” writes Laura Bronner, FiveThirtyEight’s quantitative editor. “And it’s worth noting that there are, by and large, fewer late deciders than last week — 20% of voters in Mississippi said they decided within the last few days and 26% in Missouri, compared to 39% if you aggregate the Super Tuesday states (excluding California and Colorado, where much of the vote is by mail). And time-wise, Biden’s best group was not those who decided earlier this month — he got 77% among those voters in Missouri and 84% in Mississippi.”
10:24 p.m. Sanders not expected to speak tonight
Bernie Sanders will not speak tonight, per his campaign. No details yet on whether we might hear from him tomorrow. He’s scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show on NBC tomorrow evening.
10:16 p.m. Trump backs former Auburn coach over Sessions in Alabama GOP senate primary
In the midst of tonight’s primaries, President Trump is throwing his endorsement behind Tommy Tuberville, the former head coach of the Auburn football team, over his once-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Alabama Senate Republican primary race.
“Tommy Tuberville (@TTuberville) is running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Alabama. Tommy was a terrific head football coach at Auburn University. He is a REAL LEADER who will never let MAGA/KAG, or our Country, down! Tommy will protect your Second Amendment……..(which is under siege), is strong on Crime and the Border, and truly LOVES our Military and our Vets. He will be a great Senator for the people of Alabama. Coach Tommy Tuberville, a winner, has my Complete and Total Endorsement. I love Alabama!” Trump tweeted.
The race was incredibly close last week, with neither candidate securing the 50% of the vote that they needed to avoid a runoff.
Tuberville ended the night with 33% of the vote to Sessions’ 32%.
The ultimate winner of the Republican primary will face the incumbent Democrat Sen. Doug Jones, one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in 2020.
9:50 p.m. Michigan working class identify more with Biden than with Clinton: Analyst
ABC News’ Political Analyst Matthew Dowd said Michigan’s working class voters likely identify more with former Vice President Joe Biden than they did with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“The working class of the state…did not feel aligned with HIllary Clinton. That is something very different than we have now, because a lot of those working class whites feel aligned with Joe Biden” he said.
Michigan represents the types of battleground states needed to win the nomination and the election, Dowd said.
“Michigan to me is a perfect state to help settle this race, and then it will be the perfect state for the general election…because it is a Midwestern state, a close state, with large populations of voters that Donald Trump appealed to” Dowd said.
9:46 p.m. Union voters backed Biden over Sanders
Thirty percent of voters included in the Michigan exit poll were from union households, and they backed Biden over Sanders by 54-42 % in these preliminary results. That was less for Biden than his 60-35% margin among union household voters in preliminary exit poll results in Missouri today, but better than Hillary Clinton’s 46-49% loss of these voters to Sanders in 2016.
As noted, though, reliable comparability is a question. An exit poll glitch compromises results in Michigan: Because of a sampling problem, results of the Democratic primary exit poll there exclude views of the estimated 40 percent of voters who voted early or absentee.
9:39 p.m. Andrew Yang endorses Biden
Former Democratic presidential contender and entrepreneur Andrew Yang endorsed Joe Biden on CNN following his projected wins tonight. Yang joins a growing number of moderates and fellow former presidential hopefuls who are coalescing behind Biden.
Yang said that despite his support for Sanders in 2016, “I believe that Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee. And I’ve always said I’m going to support whoever the nominee is, so I hereby am endorsing Joe Biden.”
9:33 p.m. ABC News projects Mike Espy wins Mississippi Senate race
Based on an analysis of the vote so far, ABC News projects Mike Espy will win the Mississippi Democratic Senate race.
9:20 p.m. Biggest pro-Dem super PAC supports Biden
Priorities USA, the biggest pro-Democratic super PAC, has thrown its support behind Biden. Previously, the super PAC was focused on attacking Trump and had not taken any sides in the Democratic primary.
“The math is now clear. Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee for President and @prioritiesUSA is going to do everything we can to help him defeat Donald Trump in November. I hope others will join us in the fight,” according to a tweet from Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA.
9:19 p.m. Biden’s projected win in Michigan ‘devastating blow’ to Sanders
Earlier today, ABC News Political Director Rick Klein said he was texting with a Sanders aide who said they were anticipating a rough night, but “hoping against hope that they would pull it off in Michigan.”
But that appears not to be the case, Klein continued.
“To see Joe Biden come in and start to eat away at the Sanders voters — white working-class voters included — is a devastating blow to Bernie Sanders’ campaign,” he said.
9:15 p.m. Here’s a glimpse at Democratic turnout in Michigan
All the polls have now closed in Michigan. With 51% of the expected vote reporting, turnout in the Democratic primary is about 68% of 2016’s total.
ABC News has estimated that both Biden and Sanders will pick up at least 11 delegates each in Michigan.
Kalamazoo County, in southwest Michigan, which was the site of one of Sanders’ strongest performances in 2016, is currently showing a tight race between Sanders and Biden, 49%-47%, with 94% of precincts reporting. In Calhoun and Eaton counties, two pivot counties that voted for both Trump and Obama, Biden is currently ahead of Sanders by a wide margin, 53%-38% in Calhoun with 29% of precincts reporting, and 52%-41% in Eaton with 18% precincts reporting.
Michigan vote count (51% expected vote reporting) — Biden: 53%, Sanders: 42%, Gabbard: 1%
9:06 Black voters gave Biden advantage in Mississippi
Dominant turnout by black voters delivered an overwhelming advantage to Biden in Mississippi: They accounted for 64 percent of voters in the state in preliminary exit poll results, the most of any Democratic primary or caucus so far.
And blacks supported Biden by a vast margin over Sanders, 86-11 percent, his biggest win yet among blacks this primary season. Biden also was seen by a large majority overall as the candidate best attuned to the concerns of racial and ethnic minorities, 71 percent.
That said, it would be misleading to attribute Biden’s win to blacks alone; as in most Super Tuesday states, he won whites as well — by 60-36 percent in preliminary Mississippi exit poll results, slightly surpassing his previous best result among whites, 57 percent in Alabama a week ago.
9:05 p.m. Biden will win the Michigan Democratic primary, ABC News projects
Based on analysis of the vote in so far, ABC News projects that Biden will win the Michigan Democratic primary.
9 p.m. Biden leads in Michigan
Based on an analysis of the vote so far, Biden is leading in the Michigan primary.
9 p.m. Trump will win the Michigan Republican primary
Based on analysis of the vote, ABC News projects that Trump will win the Michigan Republican primary.
8:37 p.m. Next states ‘mostly pretty bad’ for Sanders
The next set of states “are mostly pretty bad” for Sanders, Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, said on ABC News Live.
Sanders “can’t break even in states like Michigan,” Silver continued. “He has to win Michigan by 10 points or something. He has to win Washington by 15 points.
8:33 p.m. Warren staffers show support for Sanders
More than 30 of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign staff have signed onto a letter announcing their support for Bernie Sanders. It comes as Warren’s own endorsement has been conspicuous by its absence and as Biden has enjoyed a surge of one-time 2020 candidates coalescing around his centrist bid.
Since her exit from the race, all eyes have watched and waited, in anticipation of if, when, and whom she might throw her significant support behind. While some factions of the progressive left have signaled they’re behind Sanders, Warren has declined, saying she needs “space” and wants more time before she decides between Biden and Sanders – if she picks either.
8:30 p.m. Some polls closing soon
ABC News Partner FiveThirtyEight weighs in as polls are closing soon in some states, including North Dakota and it is hosting the first party-run primary of the year. Compared with a state-run primary, the voting hours will be shorter (running from just noon to 8 p.m. Eastern Time), and there are only 14 of the state’s pledged delegates. No matter where they live in the state, people can vote at any polling place; they also had the option to vote by mail.
Although North Dakota is calling its election the “firehouse caucuses,” they’re not really caucuses in that voters don’t need to stick around to realign after casting their ballots.
Because North Dakota has only one congressional district, the statewide results will decide the allocation of all 14 of the state’s pledged delegates.
At 8 p.m. Eastern, most of the polls in Michigan closed (although some counties in the Upper Peninsula will continue voting until 9 p.m. Eastern). As of this morning, Biden had greater than 99 in 100 chance of winning the state. He is forecasted to get 59 percent of the vote and Sanders 35 percent, on average. Sanders is expected to do better than that across most of the state, but Biden should rack up huge margins in Detroit, which falls predominantly in the 13th and 14th districts.
8:26 p.m. ABC News projects that Biden will win the Missouri Democratic primary
ABC News projects that Biden will win the Missouri Democratic primary, based on analysis of exit polls and the vote in so far.
8:25 p.m. ABC News projects Trump will win Missouri GOP primary
ABC News projects that Trump will win the Missouri Republican primary, based on analysis of the vote in so far.
8:17 p.m. Here’s what’s at stake for the two Democratic front-runners
Stakes are especially high for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a progressive-standard-bearer who is lagging behind former Vice President Joe Biden in delegates. Sanders is hoping that Michigan will offer a repeat of his 2016 upset when he eked out a win against former Secretary of State of Hillary Clinton — who was favored to win the state during the primary contests.
Biden, meanwhile, has the wind at his back having netted a number of moderate endorsements. He has pointed to this growing list of such people as former competitors Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, as a sign that he is better equipped to take on the White House, arguing that he is the only candidate who can beat Trump.
8:02 p.m. Biden leads in Missouri
Based on an analysis of the exit polls, Biden is leading in the Missouri primary.
8:01 p.m. ABC News projects Biden wins Mississippi
Based on an analysis of the exit polls, ABC News projects Biden will win the Mississippi primary.
8 p.m. Biden delivers in Mississippi and Missouri, preliminary exit poll results show
Black voters delivered an overwhelming advantage to Biden in Mississippi, according to preliminary exit poll results.
They accounted for 64% of voters in the state in preliminary exit poll results, the most of any Democratic primary or caucus so far. And black people supported Biden by a vast margin over Sanders, 84-13%, making the former VP’s biggest win yet among black voters this primary season. Biden also won whites over Sanders, with 66-32% in preliminary Mississippi exit poll results. That number easily surpasses his previous best result among whites, 57% in Alabama a week ago.
In Missouri, Biden won a key measure of candidate strength, according to preliminary exit poll results. Sixty-two percent of voters picked him as the candidate best able to beat Donald Trump in November vs. 30% for Sanders.
And Biden prevailed on two other head-to-head measures as well: Missouri voters picked him over Sanders by 61-27% as the candidate they trust most to handle a major crisis and by 52-30% as the one who best understands the concerns of racial and ethnic minorities.
ABC News’ Gary Langer reporting
7:31 p.m. High volume of absentee voting amid novel coronavirus spread
With fears over the novel coronavirus potentially impacting turnout, some early signs from across the six states show a high volume of voters are turning to the absentee option.
From Michigan to North Dakota to Idaho to Missouri and to Mississippi, some state and party officials are pushing back against the notion that turnout will be affected.
In Washington — a vote-by-mail-only state that also has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 — reported that as of last night there were nearly 1.6 million ballots received across both parties.
ABC News’ Meg Cunningham, Kendall Karson and Quinn Scanlan reporting.
7:28 p.m. Trump rallies to be determined day-to-day: Pence
The Trump administration will make decisions on future rallies, and whether they will take place, on a day-by-day basis during the novel coronavirus spread, Vice President Mike Pence said at a White House press briefing Tuesday.
“I’m very confident that the campaign will take the very best information and make the very best decision going forward,” Pence said.
Pence said the precautions he had discussed earlier — avoiding crowded spaces, considering rearranging large activities — were ones that “every American can do all across the country” to reduce the risk of contracting or being exposed to COVID-19.
His message came three days after Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told ABC News that they were “proceeding as normal” with the reelection events.
6:38 p.m. Biden to speak in Philadelphia
Following Tuesday night’s primary votes, former Vice President Joe Biden will speak at 9:30 p.m. at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, according to his campaign.
Biden is currently en route from Cleveland.
ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein reporting
6:12 p.m. Michigan unofficial results aren’t expected until Wednesday
The Michigan secretary of state confirmed to ABC News that the complete, unofficial results from its office are not expected until Wednesday night. Despite the delay, county clerks are still expected to begin reporting out results.
If counties are reporting results and they release lots of absentee/early votes, there could still be a projection tonight out of Michigan.
The delay in results is due to a 2018 law that allowed for absentee voting without needing an excuse, resulting in an influx of absentee ballots.
State election officials are now in “uncharted territory” this cycle, Tracy Wimmer, a spokesperson for the secretary of state, told ABC News. Michigan Democrats say a total of 821,124 absentee ballots have been returned to the secretary of state for all voters (across parties), which is a 55% increase from 2016.
“This is a huge shift in workload for the clerks and there’s different capacity in every jurisdiction. Our elections are decentralized so trying to execute the counting – the tabulation process – each county is handling it and each clerk is handling it,” Wimmer said.
ABC News’ Kendall Karson and Meg Cunningham reporting.
6:01 p.m. Trump hits Dems over Green New Deal in play to Michigan voters
With the Democratic Michigan primary in progress, President Trump is arguing on Twitter that Democrats “all want to get rid of cars,” in an apparent reference to the Green New Deal, which doesn’t actually call for that.
“If you like automobiles, how can you vote for a Democrat who all want to get rid of cars, as quickly as possible, especially if they are powered by gasoline. Remember also, no more than one car per family. I, on the other hand, have new plants being built all over Michigan, Plus!” the president tweeted.
While documents released by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office prior to the Green New Deal’s release called for similar proposals (her office said they weren’t final and weren’t supposed to be released), the plan itself does not push for these prohibitions.
ABC News’ Will Steakin reporting.
5:45 p.m. Interest in return to Obama administration policies varies: Preliminary exit poll results
Interest in a return to the policies of the Obama administration varies widely in tonight’s states. In Mississippi, in preliminary results, 61 percent say they’d like to see the next president return to the policies of the Obama administration – the most in any state so far this year for which we have exit poll results. In Washington, this falls to 41 percent, with 44 percent instead saying they’d like to see more liberal policies, according to preliminary exit poll results.
The results also find general dissatisfaction with the country’s economic system. Only 4 to 10 percent say it works well enough as is; among the rest, 45 percent or more in Missouri, Washington and among in-person voters in Michigan say the system needs “a complete overhaul,” with the rest calling for minor changes. (The question wasn’t asked in Mississippi.)
Because of a sampling problem, today’s Michigan exit poll does not include the telephone survey that was conducted to capture the opinions of early and absentee voters there. They account for an estimated 40 percent of voters in the Michigan Democratic primary.
ABC News’ Polling Director Gary Langer reporting.
5:38 p.m. Here’s a glimpse at the voting breakdown so far among races according to preliminary exit poll results
In terms of race and ethnicity, in contests to date, white voters have split by a close 30-28% between Biden and Sanders, and Hispanics have gone 44-25% for Sanders. (Hispanics are disproportionately young, and Sanders does best with young voters.) Blacks, by contrast, have voted overwhelmingly for Biden, 56-17% according to preliminary exit poll results.
Blacks have accounted for 15% of Democratic voters in previous contests this year. In preliminary exit poll results tonight, their numbers range from 64% in Mississippi to 18 percent in Michigan (excluding the estimated 40% overall in Michigan who voted early or absentee), 17% in Missouri and 4 percent in Washington. (The share of blacks in Mississippi, preliminarily, is down from 71% in 2016.) Hispanics are less prevalent.
ABC News’ Polling Director Gary Langer reporting.
5:37 p.m. Gender turnout among groups is important: Preliminary exit poll results
Turnout among groups is important in these races, with race or ethnicity, ideology, partisanship and age among the key factors.
Another, potentially, is gender: Women have accounted for 57% of voters in previous primaries and caucuses for which we have exit or entrance polls and have supported Biden over Sanders by 35-26%. Men have supported Sanders, more narrowly, 34-30 percent. In preliminary results so far, women account for 52 to 58% of the turnout today.
Because of a sampling problem, Tuesday’s Michigan exit poll does not include the telephone survey that was conducted to capture the opinions of early and absentee voters there. They account for an estimated 40 percent of voters in the Michigan Democratic primary.
ABC News’ Polling Director Gary Langer reporting.
5:36 p.m. Biden heads to Philadelphia
Vice President Joe Biden will make his way to Philadelphia after canceling his rally in Cleveland. Biden will give his marks from there after tonight’s primaries. He is expected to leave Ohio shortly.
ABC News’ Molly Nagle reporting.
5:16 p.m. Biden prevails in trust to handle a major crisis in preliminary exit poll results
Former Vice President Joe Biden prevails in trust to handle a major crisis in preliminary exit poll results, leading Bernie Sanders on the question by 34 percentage points among voters today in Missouri, 19 points in Washington state and 19 points, as well, among today’s voters in Michigan.
While not necessarily indicating vote preferences, the margins are substantial – 61-27% for Biden over Sanders in trust to handle a major crisis in Missouri, 46-27% in Washington (with 21 percent selecting Elizabeth Warren, who’s dropped out of the race), and 51-32% among in-person voters today in Michigan. The question wasn’t asked in the fourth state with exit polls today, Mississippi.
The Michigan results require an important caveat: The National Election Pool reports that a sampling problem has prevented it from including telephone survey results – produced to capture the views of early voters – in the Michigan exit poll, as intended. As such the exit poll does not include the views of early voters there, an estimated 40 percent of all voters in the primary there.
The “trust in a crisis” question may be especially relevant given concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus in the United States. Washington state has been an epicenter of the outbreak, and there a vast 82 percent are very or somewhat concerned about it, including 38 percent “very” concerned. Concern is higher among older voters, typically a strong group for Biden.
ABC News’ Polling Director Gary Langer reporting.
5:05 p.m. Kansas City Mayor turned away from polls over name entry error
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas was turned away from his polling place this morning after a poll worker entered his name incorrectly in the system.
Lucas posted about the incident on Twitter, saying that the his name “wasn’t in the system even though I’ve voted there for 11 years, including for myself four times! Go figure, but that’s okay. We’ll be back later today!”
Shawn Kieffer, the director of the Board of Elections, later told ABC News that the reason Lucas’ name didn’t come up was because the poll entered his name backwards, as Lucas Quinton, not Quinton Lucas.
The mayor has yet to return to the poll, according to Kieffer.
ABC News’ Meg Cunningham reporting.
4:44 p.m. Biden campaign also cancels rally tonight in Cleveland
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is also canceling their rally tonight in Cleveland.
“In accordance with guidance from public officials and out of an abundance of caution, our rally in Cleveland, Ohio tonight is cancelled. We will continue to consult with public health officials and public health guidance and make announcements about future events. In the coming days. Vice President Biden thanks all of his supporters who wanted to be with us in Cleveland this. Additional details on where Vice President Biden will address the press tonight are forthcoming,” Communications Director and Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield tweeted.
ABC News’ Johnny Verhovek reporting.
4:29 p.m. Delay expected in Michigan primary results after new law
Michigan election officials are preparing for a delay in the primary results after there was a surge in absentee ballots sent in this year.
The high volume of absentee ballots comes after “unprecedented shift in the way that people have been voting,” according to a spokesperson for the secretary of state.
The state amended its constitution in 2018 to allow for absentee voting without needing an excuse.
More than 500,000 ballots have already been cast, with the state seeing an 80% increase in applications for absentee ballots this year, compared to 2016, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Officials said the new law, not the novel coronavirus, is more likely the reason behind the influx of ballots.
ABC News’ Kendall Karson reporting.
4:27 p.m. Sanders campaign cancels Cleveland rally tonight amid public health concerns
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., canceled a rally in Cleveland, Ohio Tuesday night amid the novel coronavirus spread in the U.S.
“We are heeding the public warnings from Ohio state officials, who have communicated concern about holding large, indoor events during the coronavirus outbreak,” according to a statement from campaign communications director Mike Casca. “Sen. Sanders would like to express his regret to the thousands of Ohioans who had planned to attend the event tonight.”
Casca said all future Bernie 2020 events will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
There have been at least 808 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, according to a case count by Johns Hopkins University. At least 28 people have died in the U.S., per ABC News’ count.
4:06 p.m. Election officials prepare for primaries amid coronavirus spread
As voters in six states head to the polls for Tuesday’s primaries and the novel coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S, election officials are closely monitoring the situation as the federal government shifts from a containment strategy into a mitigation phase.
The new coronavirus has complicated the 2020 election season with its unrelenting global impact, killing more than 4,000 people and infecting over 110,000 worldwide.
Some state officials are making adjustments to their primary administration efforts even before confirmed cases of the coronavirus reach their state.
In Idaho, where the state holds a presidential preference vote on Tuesday and a primary in May, state officials have sped up parts of contingency plans that were already in place to address election disruptions. The Idaho secretary of state’s office accelerated orders for additional laptops in order to provide increased flexibility for employees to operate remotely or in emergency conditions.
ABC News’ Luke Barr and Kelly Cannon reporting
11:03 a.m. Biden spars with auto worker in Michigan over gun rights
Former Vice President Joe Biden got into a heated exchange with an auto worker while visiting the Fiat-Chrysler Automobile (FCA) assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan, ahead of the primaries.
Though Biden was greeted warmly by most of the workers, he fired back at one man who claimed he wanted to “take our guns.”
“You are actively trying to take away our second amendment,” the worker said.
“You’re full of s—,” Biden replied.
He went on to say that he supports the second amendment, but does not believe anyone needs 100 rounds. Biden eventually told the man not to be such “a horse’s a–.”
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