INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s political leaders announced Friday that they agreed to push back the state primary by nearly a month, to June 2, and to allow all voters to cast mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said during a news conference with the state GOP and Democratic Party chairmen that only during such emergency times would he support moving the primary from its scheduled May 5 date.

“My view on that fast-approaching primary election is it needed to be pushed back in order to ensure the safety of our county employees, our poll workers and voters, themselves,” Holcomb said.

The announcement came as state health officials reported Friday that Indiana now had COVID-19 cases in all major population centers, with cases now being confirmed in the Evansville and Terre Haute areas. Indiana's 23 new cases reported Friday raised the statewide total to 79, including two patients who died.

Holcomb had endorsed delaying the primary on Thursday, but he said Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson was leading discussions with state political party leaders in an attempt for consensus.

Neighboring Ohio and Kentucky are among at least seven other states that have postponed their primaries.