Joe Biden wins Arizona's preference election amid coronavirus fears

The former vice president won all three states that held primary elections Tuesday

Former Vice President Joe Biden has won Arizona's presidential preference election that had higher turnout than expected amid coronavirus fears and confusion about voting methods.  

Results are still coming in, but the Associated Press called the race at 8:13 p.m., just over an hour after polls had closed. 

At the time of publication, Biden is leading rival candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders 42.5% to 29.9%, according to the Secretary of State's results page

Before polls opened at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Maricopa County residents had already requested over 500,000 mail-in ballots, about 215,000 more than in the 2016 presidential preference election.  

Maricopa County houses more than half of Arizona's population and voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary. 

Before the election, Arizona officials closed a third of polling places to cut back on the amount of social interaction. After a proposal to allow every Arizonan to vote by mail was shut down Friday, election officials took extra precautions such as keeping ballot centers open late for drop-off and providing resources for poll workers to sanitize tablets, pens and entrances. 

Voters in other states like Florida and Illinois dealt with similar fears and attempted to follow guidelines from health officials to social distance themselves from others. 

The results of their elections were also called by the Associated Press for Joe Biden before 100% of precincts were reporting.

Biden is a career politician, with experience as a public defender and as a member of Congress. Biden worked alongside President Barack Obama as his vice president on several initiatives reducing gun violence, passing clean energy legislation and the Affordable Care Act. 

Biden is the favorable candidate as he's won the majority of states that have held primaries. 

Sanders is also a career politician. He's represented the state of Vermont in Congress since 1990 but had worked in local government as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont. 

Arizona has 67 delegates — 26 of which have been awarded to Biden and 22 to Sanders. 

As of Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., Biden has 1,147 delegates and Sanders has 861. 

The secretary of state’s office reports that there are 1,360,293 registered Republicans and 1,261,935 registered Democrats. 1,258,940 are registered “other” and 31,840 are registered Libertarians. 

The number of registered voters for each party is just another reason why pundits and candidates believe Arizona is going to be so important in November.


Reach the reporter at pjhanse1@asu.edu and follow @piperjhansen on Twitter. 

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