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Board of Elections, A.G. Letitia James fight to block presidential primary

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | After a federal judge’s stunning ruling to reinstate New York’s Democratic presidential primary, the state’s Board of Elections quickly filed a notice of appeal — with a request for “expedited review.”

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres found for the plaintiffs — Andrew Yang, along with Bernie Sanders delegates — in their lawsuit arguing that canceling New York’s presidential primary wrongfully disenfranchised the candidates, their delegates and also the voters.

In a statement after Torres’s decision, attorneys representing the Sanders delegates urged the New York State Democratic Party — which calls the shots for the state’s Board of Elections — not to appeal the ruling, but to no avail.

On Wednesday, Letitia James, New York State’s attorney general and an ally of Governor Cuomo, submitted the appeal on behalf of the Board of Elections.

Politicos are convinced that Cuomo, a supporter of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, is trying to quash the primary.

Less than two weeks ago, the Board of Elections had canceled the presidential part of New York’s June 23 primaries, saying the election was moot since Sanders had suspended his campaign on April 8. Yang had dropped out earlier, on Feb 11. Neither candidate, though, had technically terminated his campaign — they each had merely suspended it.

The B.O.E. also argued that, amid the coronavirus pandemic, it was safer for people not to gather at poll sites. Yet, New York’s other federal and state primaries — such as for congressional races — have not been called off.

Cuomo, however, had actually already issued an executive order for all voters to receive absentee ballots. So people could vote without even having to go to the polling sites.

The appeal briefs are due Monday, according to Penny Mintz, a Village resident who was one of the Sanders delegates on the suit.

Village attorney Arthur Schwartz, co-counsel to the Sanders delegates, said there have been some interesting developments. For example, presidential primary absentee ballots for military members were sent out on Friday, according to him. Also, everyone who has requested an absentee ballot for the primary is being sent one, unless Torres’s decision is reversed, Schwartz said.

“So the presidential primary has begun,” he said.

In addition, Schwartz said, Sanders — who was not a party to the original lawsuit — has filed an amicus brief, meaning he is supporting the plaintiffs.

2 Comments

  1. Jack Brown Jack Brown May 11, 2020

    The NYT endorsed Zephyr Teachout–who wrote the book on corruption-over Leticia James.
    James also received substantial campaign contributions from the real estate industry.
    She explained at a Cooper Union debate that it was hard to raise funds while being black.
    Corporate Democrat.

  2. Jo Jo May 11, 2020

    It is disappointing to see public officials like L. James falling in line with the new Democratic Party machine. It is crucial that this Primary take place, even if it’s by mail, because it will give Sanders delegates clout not only in regard to the Platform but also in the choosing of V.P.
    If a old style Liberal is chosen, even a woman of color, many Sanders supporters will sit on their hands or vote 3rd Party. I believe Stacy Abrams is the only contender so far who will energize the Sanders supporters enough to get a winning turn-out. This Primary really matters!

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