The New York State Board of Elections has canceled the Democratic presidential primary scheduled for June 23 after removing Bernie Sanders from the ballot. While other states have postponed primaries due to the coronavirus outbreak, New York becomes the first to outright cancel a planned primary.
The Bernie Sanders campaign blasted the decision, calling it a “blow to American democracy.” While Sanders suspended his presidential campaign earlier this month, he decided to remain on the ballot in upcoming primaries in an attempt to accrue more delegates to influence the Democratic Party’s platform at the party’s convention.
A law signed earlier this year by Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the New York State Board of Elections the power to remove candidates who have suspended their campaigns from the ballot. Senior Sanders adviser Jeff Weaver said, “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.” Primaries will still be held in New York for other races on June 23, but turnout is expected to be much lower.