U.S Presidential Primary Election
Rhode Island is holding its presidential primary election Tuesday in what has become more of a logistical test of voting by mail during a pandemic than a political challenge for any particular candidate.
Rhode Island is one of seven states, as well as the District of Columbia, that will push through a pandemic and exploding racial tensions to hold primaries. Four states were originally scheduled to vote in April but delayed their contests because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The COVID-19 crisis prompted the state to mail out ballots to registered voters for primary election who requested them as a safer alternative to packing precincts.
As most of the voters asked for mail ballots, state electoral officials — acknowledging delays in getting the paperwork out in time — said mail ballots could be dropped off Tuesday at secure boxes outside city and town halls across Rhode Island. Just 47 polling locations will be open on Tuesday for an estimated 39,100 voters in Rhode Island, according to WJAR, as residents have been encouraged to vote by mail due to the pandemic.
The coronavirus death toll has gone past 100,000 nationwide, and thousands of new cases are reported each day. The death toll reached 720 in Rhode Island Monday, with new fatalities reported by the Department of Health bringing the total cases to 14,991.
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) issued Crisis Standards of Care Guidelines for acute care hospitals today, which are intended to ensure an equitable and just allocation of patient-care resources, should a scarcity arise.
COVID-19 voting guidelines in RI
- Anyone who is sick should stay home and self-isolate (unless going out for testing or healthcare)
- The people who live with that person and who have been in direct close contact with that person should self-quarantine for 14 days after the last day that that person was in isolation. Direct close contact means being within approximately 6 feet of a person for a prolonged period
- Help is available for people living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Visit www.RIDelivers.com [ridelivers.com] for connections to groceries, home supplies, restaurants, and mutual aid groups. People can also call 2-1-1
- When people are in public, they should wear a cloth face covering. A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It could be sewn by hand or improvised from household items such as scarves, T-shirts, or bandanas.
- Groups of more than five people should not be gathering. Always avoid close personal contact with other people in public.
- People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. Do not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency).
- People with general, non-medical questions about COVID-19 can visit www.health.ri.gov/covid, write to RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, or call 401-222-8022. This is the COVID-19 Hotline that RIDOH has available to the public.
- Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island. o Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. o Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Stay home and do not leave your house if you are sick unless it is for emergency medical care. o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.