NEW YORK: New York has cancelled the Democratic presidential primary scheduled for June 23, becoming the first US state to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democratic members of the State Board of Elections have voted to cancel the primary as the risk of spreading coronavirus seems to be not affordable in the state, Xinhua news agency reported.
With over 288,000 cases and more than 22,200 deaths, New York currently is the COVID-19 epicentre in the US, according to official figures.
The cancellation followed Senator Bernie Sanders' decision to drop out of the presidential race and to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination, which makes a primary unnecessary.
A provision in the recently passed state budget allows the State Board of Elections to remove names of any candidates who have suspended or terminated their campaign.
Asked about the cancellation at his daily coronavirus briefing on Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would "leave it up to the Board of Elections" on this issue.
The state will still hold its congressional, state-level primaries and local races on June 23.
Voters in some 20 counties who only had the Democratic presidential primary on their ballot will not have to go to the polls on the day, according to The New York Times.