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Judge Rules To Reinstate New York Democratic Primary Election For June

A judge ruled yesterday, May 5th, that the New York state Democratic presidential primary election will take place as planned next month. Previously, New York cancelled their Democratic primary after Bernie Sanders indefinitely suspended his campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Joe Biden as the sole Democratic nominee. 

Democrats on the state board of elections voted last week to remove all presidential candidates who have previously suspended their campaigns from the ballot, leaving only Vice President Biden on the ticket. Before the primaries were initially cancelled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had issued an executive order that moved the election date from April 28th to June 23rd. 

United States District Judge Analisa Torres was the individual who granted the preliminary injunction to put the primary election back on in June. The injunction was also done in response to a lawsuit from former presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

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“I’m glad that a federal judge agreed that depriving millions of New Yorkers of the right to vote was wrong. I hope that the New York Board of Elections takes from this ruling a newfound appreciation of their role in safeguarding our democracy,”  Yang said in a statement.

With this ruling, the New York Board of Elections must also reinstate all Democratic primary candidates who were still qualified to run in the election as of April 26th 2020, in order for the primary to still be held in June. This would mean the ballot would list Biden, Sanders, and Yang as candidate options. 

Torres claimed in her ruling that Yang and the rest of the democratic delegates have made a “clear and substantial showing of likelihood of success on the merits of their claim.” That “claim” being Yang’s initial lawsuit against the NY Board of Elections in which he accused the Democrats on the board of violating every New Yorker’s constitutional right to a primary election. 

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“Good for Torres for having restored basic democracy in New York. People in every state should have the right to express their preference in the 2020 Democratic primary. We have confidence that New York can hold elections in June in a safe manner that preserves New Yorkers’ right to vote,” Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said.

In April New York became the first state in the US to cancel a presidential primary election over coronavirus fears. Bernie Sanders suspending his presidential campaign acted as the “final nail in the coffin,” so to speak, for the Democratic primary in general in the US, however, Americans and New Yorkers alike agree that every citizen should still have the right to vote in a safe and rapid matter that will also protect them from potential Covid-19 exposure. 

“The [initial] decision came after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential campaign earlier that month, which basically rendered the primary moot. At a time when the goal is to avoid unnecessary social contact, our conclusion was that there was no purpose in holding a beauty contest primary that would marginally increase the risk to both voters and poll workers,” New York State Board of Elections co-chair Douglas Kellner said. 

Now, the Board understands the outrage that came from Sanders campaign offices/the American people in general. Many states have moved to postpone their primaries due to the pandemic, and as of right now, information on how the general election for November 2020 will work is just as unclear as everything else occuring in the world.