BERNIE Sanders may have dropped out of the race, but his supporters had some consolation – he was set to be on the ballot for all the remaining states.
An arguably ill-advised decision to suspend his campaign has come back to bite the Vermont Senator as the New York Primary was cancelled.
Mr Sanders had hoped to put in a decent show in the state in order to garner as many delegates as possible going into the convention – but he will now lose one of his best chances to do that.
Douglas Kellner, who sits on the New York State Board of Elections, told CNN: “At a time when the goal is to avoid unnecessary social contact, our conclusion was that there was no purpose in holding a beauty contest primary that would marginally increase the risk to both voters and poll workers.”
On the surface, this is true. There is evidence that the Wisconsin and Florida Primaries, where voters queued up for hours to vote in-person, led to more cases and fatalities.
However, as the likes of Alaska and Ohio have shown, mail-in primaries are more than feasible.
Cancelling the New York Primary appears to be a political decision aimed at sidelining progressives.
Even Andrew Yang, who surprisingly endorsed Joe Biden, filed a lawsuit against the decision.
It states: “This unprecedented and unwarranted move infringes the rights of Plantiffs and all New York State Democratic Party voters, of which there are estimated to be more than six million, as it fundamentally denies them the right to choose our next candidate for the office of President of the United States.”
The decision was not made purely in the interests of safety, but to disenfranchise progressives. Neither the DNC nor Joe Biden’s campaign requested this – it was simply on the New York State Board of Elections.
It was only allowed to be made due to an obscure provision in New York’s state budget law that Andrew Cuomo passed earlier this month.
There have been rumours that Cuomo, who engages in almost-daily sparring with President Trump, is keen to raise his own profile – especially with hints that Joe Biden may drop out.
Larry Cohen of Our Revolution said: “This is Cuomo trying to be the party boss who goes to the party convention with 284 delegates in his pocket.
“Whatever support he built for himself for his handling of the pandemic is definitely eroding.”
Jeff Weaver, a Senior Adviser to the Sanders campaign said: “Just last week, Vice President Biden warned the American people that President [Donald] Trump could use the current crisis as an excuse to postpone the November election.
“Well, he now has a precedent thanks to New York State.”
Now, they’re not even letting him finish the race.
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