Americans living in China and South Korea have been told that due to the coronavirus outbreak they won’t be able to vote in person for the Democratic presidential primary next month and should instead vote online. As more cases of COVID-19 appear around the world, Americans living countries such as Italy and Japan could soon see their ability to cast ballots affected, according to Democrats Abroad, the group that manages U.S. citizens voting overseas.
While more than 82,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide and hobbled global markets, the new restrictions mark the first example of the virus impacting the 2020 election. The development comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week identified the first potential case of the virus spreading within a U.S. community and warned that cities, businesses and schools should prepare for a larger outbreak. It also comes just days before Super Tuesday, when 14 states will hold primaries and Democrats who live overseas begin casting their ballots.
Voting is often a difficult process for U.S. citizens overseas, who have typically mailed or faxed their ballots to state elections officials or submitted them electronically. But in recent years, Democrats Abroad has created in-person voting opportunities for presidential primaries by giving Democrats the option to participate in a Global Presidential Primary instead of voting with their home state.
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