March 18, 2020

Stephanie Ruhle asked DNC chief Tom Perez if the three primary states should have held elections last night.

"The short answer is yes, I think they should have," Perez said.

"Here's what happened in Arizona. Over 80% of the people voted early, because they have vote by mail, they have provisions that enable folks to vote before the election. Same thing down in Florida, overwhelming participation in early vote. Same in Illinois. Stephanie, last week, Washington state held its primary. They are an epicenter of this challenge right now with coronavirus. They held it without a glitch, because they are a vote-by-mail state.

"It's a false choice we either have safety or we hold elections. There are ways to hold elections so that we don't put people in harm's way. What we have called for at the DNC moving forward -- let me also start out by saying we don't have the authority to postpone elections. That's up to states. What we're telling states is that you should follow the lead of states like Oregon and Washington state and Arizona, and others, and provide no-excuse absentee voting. Vote by mail, have longer early voting, so that you don't have people queueing up.

"We shouldn't have to make a false choice. There are ways to do this. Moving forward, that's exactly what the states that haven't gone yet should be doing."

BACKGROUNDER: Democratic Party lawyer Marc Elias says states and Congress need to act now to ensure all votes count during the general election.

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