The state's primary elections, scheduled for June 9, is expected to be held July 14, Maine Gov. Janet Mills said Tuesday afternoon.

Mills made her announcement during the daily update on the COVID-19 outbreak.

The governor said the state has been in contact with municipal clerks and decided that holding the election on June 9 was not possible.

The governor said the state wants to encourage absentee voting to reduce the amount of individual contacts.

The primaries are to elect party candidates for Maine Legislature, county offices, and federal offices. The winner of those primaries will face off in the November general election along with any un-enrolled candidates.

The Maine Conservation Alliance issued a news release Monday recommending the state "make significant changes to the way elections are conducted to ensure all eligible Maine voterscan choose how to safely participate in the June primary. Changes are needed to voter registration, absentee voting, and in-person voting systems."

Rockland City Councilor Valli Geiger said Monday during the April 6 City Council meeting, that the governor had said in a telephone conference that votes on school district budgets will also have to be postponed.

The elections are currently scheduled for Tuesday, June 9.

The overall Regional School Unit 13 budget has yet to go to the Board but Rockland City Manager Tom Luttrell said at the City Council's April 6 meeting that he was told by the superintendent and school district's business manager that the budget will come in at about a 4 percent increase.

"They believe they have their costs under control," Luttrell said.

The municipal budget review has been on hold because of the virus outbreak. The city can operate on the current year budget into the next fiscal year which begins July 1, Mayor Lisa Westkaemper said Monday night.