New York Presidential Primary Back On

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden at a February 19 debate in Las Vegas.
Reuters/ Mike Blake

It’s back on.

federal judge ruled Tuesday night that New York’s Democratic presidential primary, originally scheduled for June 23 but canceled last week by the State Board of Elections, will go on as originally planned.

The ruling handed down by US District Judge Analisa Torres found that the cancelation of the primary deprived the candidates of their opportunity to win pledged delegates to send to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee — if it is in fact an in-person event — late this summer, when former Vice President Joe Biden will accept the nomination.

Federal court finds cancelation deprives voters the chance to influence party platform

As a result, that deprived each candidate’s “pledged delegates of the opportunity to run for a position where they could influence” the party platform. The canceled primary would also deprive voters of the chance to elect convention delegates based on their personal points of view who could influence the platform’s creation, Torres concluded.

Businessman Andrew Yang, who dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race in February following the New Hampshire primary, filed the lawsuit last month after the state Board of Elections decided to cancel the June 23 vote.

The New York presidential primary was initially scheduled for April 28, but then postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Board of Elections ultimately decided to cancel it days after Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential candidacy — leaving Biden as the last remaining candidate in the race and the party’s presumptive nominee.

Under the judge’s ruling, New York Democrats will be able to vote in their party’s presidential primary scheduled for June 23, which coincides with state legislative and congressional primary contests.

In defending the Board of Elections’ decision, Governor Andrew Cuomo had argued that without a presidential primary, 20 of the state’s 62 counties would not be required to hold any election, protecting poll workers there from any exposure to the coronavirus.

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