New York Cancelling Dem Primary Should Anger Bernie Supporters

New Yorkers won’t get to vote for Bernie Sanders after all.

The New York Board of Elections voted Monday to cancel its 2020 Democratic presidential primary. The decision comes weeks after Governor Andrew Cuomo delayed the primary, originally scheduled for April 28th, until June 23rd.

And for Sanders supporters, it feels like another kick in the groin.

New York’s 270 primary delegates now go to Biden, making it even harder for Sanders to reach the 1,200 delegate threshold necessary to impact the Democratic platform. The chances of Sanders getting there were slim, but precisely the reason his supporters wanted him to keep fighting and stay on ballots across the country. Now, those who believe the primary was rigged against Sanders all along have even more fuel for their fire.

The state’s decision is puzzling since it doesn’t really solve any issues. New York still had roughly two months to shift to mail-in voting before June 23rd, when it will still hold elections for every other seat. (Making it easier  to vote by mail is something New York might have to do for November’s general election anyway—why not start now?) And despite their candidate’s newfound delegates, the Biden campaign was open to Sanders staying on remaining states’ ballots, as a seeming olive branch to the senator’s supporters. Aside from more delegates, the former VP doesn’t gain much from it.

The Democratic Party is the only body that materially benefits from canceling the New York primary. By denying Sanders a chance at winning more delegates, they’ve reduced the chance that his delegates will sit on the committees tasked with forming the party’s platform—effectively reducing his potential impact on the platform overall. The party has sought to stymie Sanders’ influence and ignored progressive voices from the start. But in doing so, the DNC may have disaffected Sanders’ most ardent supporters even more.