Saturday is the deadline to register for July 7’s presidential primary

DOVER — Delawareans hoping to take part in July 7’s presidential primary must register to vote by Saturday.

Delaware has a closed primary, meaning Democrats can only vote for Democrats and Republicans can only vote Republicans. Those registered with other parties cannot vote in this election.

The deadline for registered voters to switch parties has now passed, so those who are eligible to cast ballots but are affiliated with a third party are out of luck.

Individuals hoping to sign up to participate in the presidential primary can do so by visiting ivote.de.gov or calling their county Department of Elections. They must present identification with proof of address when doing so.

Originally slated for April 28, the election was moved to June 2 and then to July 7 because of COVID-19.

Though state law places strict limits on when people can cast absentee ballots, the state of emergency Delaware has been in since mid-March gives the chief executive the authority to loosen those. Under an order from Gov. John Carney, voters should indicate they are sick or disabled on their ballot applications, which must be mailed back to the Department of Elections or filled out online, to enable them to submit absentee ballots.

Applications have already mailed to eligible voters, allowing them to cast ballots without venturing out. The Department of Elections will still operate at least six polling places in each county for those who prefer to vote in person, however. Voters can pick any polling location in their county.

Mask-wearing and social distancing will still be required in public. Poll workers will “be working with voters to ensure” these mandates are followed “in the interest of ensuring everyone’s health and well-being,” Election Commissioner Anthony Albence wrote in an email.

All absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on election day to be counted.

It’s no longer a mystery who the main candidates for November’s presidential election will be, with President Donald Trump leading the Republican Party ticket and former Vice President Joe Biden set to helm the Democratic Party’s bid. All other contenders dropped out by mid-April, and Mr. Biden clinched a majority of his party’s delegates this month with victories in several state primary contests.

Had Delaware not pushed its election back, it’s possible the First State could have put its favorite son over the top, in fact.

Despite the outcome being already decided, voters here will have a few (nominal) choices: Democrats can pick between Mr. Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, while Republicans have the option of President Trump or California businessman Rocky De La Fuente, a perennial candidate.

The First State’s primary election for all other offices remains Sept. 15. Delawareans have until Aug. 22 to register for that contest.

School board elections, which were originally supposed to be held May 12, are currently set for July 21 after a second postponement. No registration is needed to take part in a school board election.

Municipal elections set to be held before the state of emergency ends can take place at the discretion of each town or city as long as proper social distancing protocols are followed.

With many health experts warning the pandemic could see a resurgence by Nov. 3’s general election, that contest could be conducted in large part by mail. Some Democrats in Congress have stumped for expanded absentee voting, although they face stiff opposition from Republicans warning of voter fraud despite little evidence of such misconduct on the part of individual voters.

Delawareans running for state office have until July 14 to file. There are currently multiple Republicans running for governor and U.S. representative, as well as multiple Democrats vying for insurance commissioner. Some legislative districts also set to have primaries as well.

See elections.delaware.gov for more information.

Individuals can also find information about voting and candidates through the League of Women Voters at vote411.org.