New York cancels presidential primary, citing coronavirus, after Sanders camp asked to stay on ballot

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New York has canceled its Democratic presidential primary for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic — igniting a backlash from supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign had asked that his name be allowed to stay on the ballot.

The move by Democrats on the New York State Board of Elections — nixing the election scheduled for June 23 — followed Sanders’ announcement earlier this month that he would suspend his presidential campaign, rendering former Vice President Joe Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee.

With this decision, New York became the first state to cancel its primary altogether, though 16 states have postponed their primaries amid the pandemic and many have taken steps to encourage voting by mail.

The announcement drew fire from Sanders supporters. On Sunday, Sanders’ campaign asked the New York State Board of Elections to let his name remain on the Democratic primary ballot, saying doing so would impede “efforts to unify the Democratic Party in advance of November elections.”

“It is completely wrong for the BOE to cancel New York’s Presidential Primary,” tweeted New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who had endorsed Sanders in the race. “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!” – READ MORE

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