Oregon and Nebraska Continue with Primaries

Primary Watch: Pandemic Challenges Thwart Georgia and Kentucky Election Process

Despite a number of obstacles being presented in the wake of a global pandemic, the 2020 presidential primary elections are prevailing. State political parties across the nation have been tasked with carrying out contests that are a vital component of the presidential election’s nomination process while also protecting voters from a virus that could potentially be life-threatening.

While primaries have become a challenging endeavor amidst the state of emergency the U.S. is currently under, Nebraska demonstrated fortitude in the face of a global pandemic in carrying out a successful and record-breaking primary election on Tuesday, May 12.

Secretary of State Robert Evnen shared that he was proud of how well Nebraskans responded in the midst of the global health crisis. “I’m especially proud that Nebraskans responded in this way in the midst of a health pandemic,” Evnen said.

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John Cartier, Civic Nebraska’s director of voting rights, attributes the success of the primary to the nearly 400,000 ballots that were mailed in or dropped off by voters. “That was the single greatest contribution to why we had a very successful election,” he said.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced former Vice President Joe Biden as its endorsee on May 6 which coincided with the candidate’s eighth anniversary of endorsing marriage equality. Biden won the state’s Democratic primary at 76.9 percent.

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The Democratic presidential primary for three states was scheduled to take place on May 19 including Oregon, Georgia and Kentucky. However, Oregon was the only state to proceed with primary elections and conducted its contest with a mail-only voting system. The other two states’ primaries were delayed due to health concerns of COVID-19.

Adding to his delegate count as the presumptive Democratic candidate, Biden took Oregon’s primary with 69.1 percent of the vote, which for perspective equals more than 310,500 ballots. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders came in second place with an 18.1 percent share of the vote and Mass. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in third place with 9 percent.

As part of our coverage in TurnOUT: How LGBTQ Organizations Have Mobilized the Community, this project has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems, solutionsjournalism.org.

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