Rhode Island postpones presidential primary to June due to coronavirus pandemic

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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Monday she would be signing an executive order delaying the state's presidential primary, previously scheduled to take place on April 28, to June 2 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Raimondo said the decision comes after guidance from the Board of Elections, who also advised that voters should opt to mail in their ballots.

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Rhode Island has become the latest state -- behind  Ohio, Georgia, Louisiana, Connecticut and Kentucky -- to push off the primaries in an effort to prevent people from congregating in large crowds or coming into close contact with others which could potentially expose them to COVID-19.

Already the state has seen 106 cases of coronavirus and that number has grown steadily across the country each day.

The postponement also follows statewide mandates to close recreational and entertainment facilities as well as dine-in restaurants and to impose a 14-day self-quarantine on anyone coming to Rhode Island by plane.

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"These new restrictions limit out-of-state travel, but don't limit travel within RI, & we are not closing the state’s borders," Raimondo wrote on Twitter. "If you need to drive to the grocery store, you can. If you need to get your medication from a pharmacy, you can. But we need you to stay local."

Democratic candidates for president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have both cancelled rallies across the U.S. as the number of coronavirus cases rose throughout the nation and have instead taken to holding virtual events in an effort to keep their campaign momentum going.