New York on Monday canceled its June 23 Democratic presidential primary, an unprecedented step prompted by the coronavirus crisis.
The Democratic members sitting on the state Board of Elections agreed to cancel the vote for a Democratic White House nominee, but primaries at the congressional and state levels will proceed as planned.
That compromise should create a lower-than-average voter turnout, reducing crowding to protect both voters and poll workers, many of whom are elderly, said state Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs.
“It makes sense,” said Jacobs of the call to cancel the vote. “We shouldn’t have non-essential primaries. There is only one candidate who is running.”
Jacobs was referring to former Vice President Joe Biden — the last man standing among a once-crowded field of Democratic challengers — after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders waved the white flag while also lobbying to remain on the ballot in those states that hadn’t already held their primaries.
It was presumed that New York’s 274 Democratic delegates would fall to Biden, but Jacobs said that the state Democratic Committee hadn’t yet made an official determination.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who on Friday directed the BOE to mail all New Yorkers applications for absentee ballots, declined to weigh in on the call.
“I’m not gonna second guess the Board of Elections,” he said in an Albany press briefing. “I know there are a lot of election employees … who are nervous about conducting electing, but I’ll leave it up to the Board of Elections.”
With Post Wires
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