Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ (I-Vt.) campaign is firing back at New York’s election board for cancelling the state’s Democratic presidential primary.
“Today’s decision by the State of New York Board of Elections is an outrage, a blow to American democracy, and must be overturned by the DNC,” Sanders campaign adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement on Monday.
However, he publicly stated his intention to continue to win delegates in a bid to gain leverage to influence the party’s platform at the nominating convention later this year.
Earlier on Monday, Sanders’ campaign petitioned to be able to stay on the ballot for New York’s primary. But hours later the New York Board of Elections announced that it would cancel the primary, as IJR has previously reported.
“Obviously the intent of the legislature was not to have a primary election where there is no real contest,” the board’s chairman told The New York Times.
However, Sanders’ campaign suggested that President Donald Trump could use the decision as a precedent to try to delay the general election, “Just last week Vice President Biden warned the American people that President 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.”
Weaver continued, “What the Board of Elections is ignoring is that the primary process not only leads to a nominee but also the selection of delegates which helps determine the platform and rules of the Democratic Party.”
Additionally, Weaver said, “No one asked New York to cancel the election. The DNC didn’t request it. The Biden campaign didn’t request it. And our campaign communicated that we wanted to remain on the ballot.”
He also suggested that the board should examine a potential all vote by mail primary, instead of cancelling the primary.
Finally, Weaver said, “If this is not remedied, New York should lose all its delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and there should be a broader review by the Democratic Party of New York’s checkered pattern of voter disenfranchisement.”
One of Sanders’ most prominent supporters, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), also blasted the decision to cancel the primary, “It is completely wrong for the BOE to cancel New York’s Presidential Primary.”
It is completely wrong for the BOE to cancel New York’s Presidential Primary.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 27, 2020
This decision is not informed by public health: the state is still holding elections for every other seat that day, & so far the only way your ballot will 100% be counted in NY is to vote in person! https://t.co/l8iT7mxm9c
She added, “This decision is not informed by public health: the state is still holding elections for every other seat that day, & so far the only way your ballot will 100% be counted in NY is to vote in person.”