The state of New York has announced the cancellation of the planned Democratic presidential primary due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to CNN.
Douglas Kellner, the co-chair of the New York State Board of Elections, said that the primary had become “moot” after Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dropped out, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the only remaining candidate and the presumptive nominee. At that point, Kellner said, the one-man primary essentially became “a beauty contest primary that would marginally increase the risk to both voters and poll workers.”
Thus, the Democratic commissioners on the state board voted to remove the names of all other candidates on the ballot except for Biden, essentially cancelling the primary. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) refused to comment on the decision, instead simply saying that he would “leave it up to the board of elections.”
However, representatives from the defunct Sanders campaign expressed outrage at the decision, with senior adviser Jeff Weaver declaring it “a blow to American democracy,” and former campaign co-chair Nina Turner calling the move “a really sad day for democracy.”
Despite officially withdrawing from the race earlier this month, Sanders had stated his intentions to remain on the ballot in the remaining primaries so that he could acquire more delegates, in a bid to have more influence over the party platform at the Democratic National Convention. But even the convention has been called into question after being delayed from its originally-planned dates of July 13 – 16 to August 17 – 20, also due to coronavirus fears.