PIXNews and Gothamist
New York has canceled its Democratic presidential primary originally scheduled for June 23 amid the coronavirus epidemic in an unprecedented move.
The Democratic members of the State's Board of Elections voted Monday to nix the primary.
New York will still hold its congressional and state-level primaries on June 23.
The NYS Board of Elections canceled the contest, in part, because Senator Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the race.
In a statement released on Twitter, the Sanders campaign calls it an “outrage” and a “blow to American democracy.”
asked if canceling the Democratic primary in New York was “the right
move,” Cuomo said during this press conference Monday that he wasn’t
going to second guess the Board of Elections
“I know there are a lot of election employees — employees at Board of
Elections — who are nervous about conducting elections, but I’ll leave
it up to the Board of Elections," he said.
The cancelation generated swift backlash from Sanders supporters and others.
happened today is New York’s Democratic Party sent a clear message to
Progressives that our voices and our values do not matter,” said Sochie
Nnaemeka, state director of the Working Families Party.
this takes away people's right to vote for Sanders and allow New York’s
voters to send progressive delegates to the convention.
Citing COVID-19 health risks to the public
and Board staff who would have had to prepare for the election, the
state’s two Democratic Commissioners both voted to suspend the contest.
Douglas Kellner and Andrew Spano, said the decision was
difficult, especially given the “thousands” of emails from Sanders
supporters pushing them to keep it. But they noted that a newly passed
provision in state election law allowed the body to remove presidential
candidates from the ballot if they had suspended their campaign.
Sanders not only announced he suspended his campaign, but he also
announced a public endorsement of Joe Biden,” Kellner said adding, “What
the Sanders supporters want is essentially a beauty contest that given
the situation with the public health emergency that exists now seems to
be unnecessary and indeed frivolous.”
Spano, the former
Westchester County Executive, said he just made his mind up this
Foremost in his mind was the health of Board staff who would be
running the election. But he also talked about seeing people sickened
after casting ballots in primaries across the country.
at the situation in Wisconsin and seeing those people on the lines, and
having been myself locked up in here, trying to avoid getting any kind
of contagion, I've come to the conclusion that we should minimize the
number of people on the ballot, minimize the election for the protection
of everybody, but give the opportunity to vote in the actual elections
for candidates and not have anyone on the ballot just for the purposes
of issues at a convention,” said Spano.