Sanders adviser: NY presidential primary cancellation a ‘blow to American democracy’

Greg Nash

An adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the decision to cancel New York’s Democratic presidential primary is “a blow to American democracy” and called on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to reverse the move. 

“No one asked New York to cancel the election,” Jeff Weaver said in a statement. “The DNC did not request it. The Biden campaign did not request it. And our campaign communicated that we wanted to remain on the ballot.” 

Weaver accused New York of violating its delegate selection plan, saying the state should lose all of its delegates ahead of the party’s convention and be subject to a “broader review” over what he called “the Democratic Party of New York’s checkered pattern of voter disenfranchisement.” 

Democrats on the state’s Board of Elections voted on Monday to cancel the party’s presidential primary on June 23 amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Congressional and state-level elections will take place on June 23. 

The vote came after Sanders’s presidential campaign sent a letter to the state Board of Elections asking that he remain on the June 23 ballot. The campaign warned that the party would be damaged if it did not grant the request. 

Sanders suspended his campaign earlier this month, but he pledged to remain on upcoming primary ballots to continue accumulating delegates in an effort to pressure the DNC to adopt a more progressive platform at the party’s convention in August.

Weaver acknowledged in the statement that the campaign understood that they did not have the votes to win the nomination, but added that “people in every state should have the right to express their preference.” 

Tags 2020 Democratic primary Bernie Sanders Democratic National Committee Jeff Weaver
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