A judge restored the state’s presidential primary late Tuesday night, meaning it will proceed as scheduled on June 23 with Sanders on the ballot. The decision comes a week after the New York Board of Elections voted to cancel the state’s presidential primary.
The decision is a victory for Sanders supporters and democracy proponents alike. And it leaves the DNC looking dumber than ever.
It wasn’t the Democratic Party’s decision to cancel the primary in the first place, but it clearly reflected their sensibilities. Removing Sanders from the ballot in the third most populous state in the country was the final nail in his campaign’s coffin and attempt to curb the senator’s influence on party politics. But there was simply no cogent explanation for the decision beyond partisanship. It set a dangerous precedent for other states and the federal government at a time when elections are essentially in limbo due to COVID-19. It also enraged Sanders supporters and those who favor actual democracy; Joe Biden hardly benefitted, as he’ll likely win the state anyway and doesn’t exactly need momentum right now. Cancelling the primary was a direct violation of democracy and would have deprived millions of their right to vote—the exact words used in the ruling.
Reinstating the primary a week later makes the New York Board of Elections and the DNC look even worse. Such a quick reversal implies how absurd the original decision was. Clearly backlash from Sanders supporters worked, as did the lawsuit brought by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang in an effort to restore the primary. Ultimately, it’s a win, but one that shouldn’t have been necessary to achieve. And it’s likely the Vermont senator’s supporters in New York and beyond won’t soon forget the latest endeavor to flout democracy and silence them.