Bernie Sanders pushes to stay on NY primary ballot even though he quit race

Tribune Content Agency

NEW YORK — But I still wanna feel the Bern!

Bernie Sanders is resisting New York state’s move to remove his name from the June 23 primary ballot even though he has suspended his campaign.

The rumpled lefty’s campaign wrote a letter Sunday to the state Board of Elections protesting a new law that allows the board to remove candidates who are no longer running from the ballot.

That would effectively scrap the Democratic presidential primary now that Sanders and all the other candidates have dropped out and backed Joe Biden.

“His involuntary erasure from the ballot … would sow needless strife and distrust, impeding Senator Sanders’ efforts to unify the Democratic Party in advance of November elections,” Malcolm Seymour, a Sanders campaign lawyer, wrote Sunday.

The board is expected to meet Monday to decide whether to scrap the presidential primary, which would allow about a third of the counties in New York state to avoid having any primary election at all.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order allowing New Yorkers to vote by absentee ballot and requests will be sent out to all registered voters.

A clause allowing the board to remove failed candidates from the ballot was tucked into the state’s recent budget measure.

Progressive critics claim it’s a shameless power play by Gov. Cuomo to maintain an iron grip on the state’s Democratic delegation.

Despite folding his campaign, Sanders still wants to continue to rack up delegates so he can have more of a say on the party platform and other issues at the Democratic National Convention.

Biden’s campaign, which is seeking to build support from Sanders’ passionate online army of supporters, has played nice with the former rival and has even offered to divvy up delegates in some states order to give Sanders a bigger say at the convention.

Even if the presidential primary is nixed, many New York voters will still get the chance to weigh in on an unusually large slate of potentially contentious congressional primaries.

In fact, some political analysts say those races could be more volatile because turnout may be much lower now that Biden has effectively wrapped up the nomination.


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