Sanders Campaign Blasts New York State Board Of Elections For Canceling Primary
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The suspended Sanders campaign is none too pleased about New York’s decision to cancel the 2020 presidential primary. According to reports, a letter to supporters said the move was a “blow to American democracy” and called on the Empire State to lose its delegates if the Board of Elections determination is not overruled.

Sanders posted the e-mailed statement to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. “While we understood that we did not have the votes to win the Democratic nomination our campaign was suspended, not ended, because people in every state should have the right to express their preference,” it read.

The Sanders campaign maintains that the outrage goes beyond denying Sanders of delegates. It’s also about preserving American democracy and giving voters an opportunity to help determine the platform through the selection of delegates.

The HuffPost reports that lawyers for the Sanders campaign sent a letter to the New York State Board of Elections late on Sunday requesting that his name remain on the Democratic primary ballot scheduled for June 23.

“Senator Sanders wishes to remain on the ballot, and is concerned that his removal from the ballot would undermine efforts to unify the Democratic Party in advance of the general election,” attorney Malcolm Seymour wrote to the commissioner for the New York State Board of Elections.

Bernie Sanders campaign holds rally at Morehouse college.
During the senator’s run for the White House, the Sanders campaign made significant efforts toward getting young people involved in the political process. Now they worry those voices will be silenced without an opportunity to vote in the presidential primary. (Photo: Tanya A. Christian for ESSENCE)

On Monday, the State Board of Elections chose to deny the request, citing concerns for the health and safety of New Yorkers. But the Sanders campaign says given that the primary is months away, there was time for the board to come up with a safe way to hold the election.  

Sanders suspended his presidential run on April 8 but wanted to remain on future ballots in hopes of influencing the party platform. His campaign says taking away an opportunity to do that is “eliminating people’s right to vote completely.”

TOPICS: