Illinois Primary Voters Lined Up Despite Calls for Social Distancing

Illinois opted to move forward with 2020 Democratic primary voting on Tuesday, March 17, though health officials encouraged voters to practice social distancing amid the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, local media reported.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced in a press conference on March 12 that primaries would continue as scheduled, as “free and open elections are the structural support of our democracy,” he said.

The unprecedented precautions being taken to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus prompted officials in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, and Ohio to postpone primary elections scheduled for this week.

A notice from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners encouraged voters to practice social distancing by remaining at least six feet away from others to slow the spread of the virus.

This video shows a line inside Truman College in Chicago, where voters sat while waiting up to two hours to cast their ballots on Tuesday, according to the uploader.

Gov Pritzker announced on March 13 that schools in Illinois would be closed until March 30.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois has 160 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with one death from the illness. Credit: @bront629 via Storyful