Judge Orders New York Presidential Primary Back On After Yang Lawsuit

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and his supporters (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the New York presidential primary on June 23 cannot be cancelled, and ordered that qualifying candidates who have suspended their campaigns be listed on the ballot.

“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,” ruled U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York.

The lawsuit was brought by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang last week. He celebrated the victory on Twitter.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has also been vocal in his disapproval of the state board of elections’ decision to cancel the primary. A provision of the state budget signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) last month gave the board the power to scrub from the ballot the names of candidates who dropped out.

The board cancelled the election at the end of April, citing health concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Down-ballot elections would still be held. Calling off the presidential primary, BOE officials argued, would mean that people would not need to vote at all in several New York counties that did not have local elections.

Torres found that, due to the other elections in the state, cancelling the primary would only mitigate COVID-19-caused health risks to a “limited extent,” while seriously depriving the former candidates and voters of their rights.

Per the New York Times, the New York board of elections is preparing to appeal the decision.

Read the court ruling here:

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