Democrats on the New York Board of Elections on Wednesday appealed a federal judge’s ruling to reinstate the state’s presidential primary.
Letitia James, the New York attorney general, submitted the appeal on behalf of board commissioner Andrew Spano and other members in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York ordered the presidential primary back on after the BOE cancelled it in late April.
She also ordered qualifying candidates who had suspended their campaigns be added back onto the ballot — the board had removed all but presumptive nominee Joe Biden after getting the power to do so in a provision of the state budget.
“If all but one of the presidential candidates are removed from the ballot and the primary is not held, Delegate Plaintiffs will be deprived of the opportunity to compete for delegate slots and shape the course of events at the Convention, and voters will lose the chance to express their support for delegates who share their views,” she wrote.
She acknowledged the health risk stemming from the coronavirus: one of the reasons the BOE cancelled the election was to free up several New York counties from having to conduct elections amid the pandemic. Only those that had down-ballot races would still have to hold them.
However, Torres found that cancelling the presidential primary would only mitigate the health risks to a “limited extent,” while greatly disenfranchising voters and former candidates.
Among the defendants on the lawsuit was former candidate Andrew Yang, who wrote on Twitter after the ruling that he hoped the BOE would have a “newfound appreciation for their role in safeguarding our democracy.”
The primary, if it happens, is scheduled for June 23.
Read the appeal here: