Election officials: Tuesday primaries on despite coronavirus fears

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference at an emergency management warehouse alongside props of testing kits about the spread of the coronavirus, Friday March 13, 2020 in Tallahassee, Fla. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Elections officials in the four states holding presidential primaries next week say they have no plans to postpone voting amid widespread disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Instead, they are taking extraordinary steps to ensure that voters can cast ballots and polling places are clean.

They have been scrambling to recruit replacements for poll workers dropping out over fears of contracting the virus, providing cotton swabs for voters to use on touchscreen machines and extending absentee voting deadlines. Only one state, Louisiana, announced plans to postpone its primary, from April to June.

"We're definitely voting," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said during a news conference Friday. "They voted during the Civil War. We're going to vote."

The top elections officials from the four states - Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio - said in a joint statement that the vote will go on Tuesday, saying they were confident the elections would be secure and safe.