On Monday, the New York State Board of Elections voted to cancel New York’s democratic presidential primary, which it had originally postponed from April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a complaint filed Tuesday, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and a group of candidates running to become pledged delegates at the Democratic National Convention sued the Board of Elections to block the move.
Plaintiffs argue that the cancellation would disenfranchise millions of voters, suppress turnout in down-ballot races to the detriment of challengers, deny Yang the opportunity to accumulate delegates and influence at the convention, and establish a precedent that President Trump could use to cancel the November 2020 election. Plaintiffs allege violations of the right to vote and of procedural due process and are seeking emergency relief.
Plaintiffs argue that the primary can safely proceed if voters are simply allowed to vote by mail, and that it is “cancelling democracy” to simply shut down the primary:
On April 24, Governor Cuomo announced that he will issue another Executive Order mandating that the New York State Board of Elections automatically mail every New Yorker a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot. “We’re making great progress to flatten the curve [of new cases] and decrease the spread of infection, but we don’t know when this pandemic will end and we can’t put democracy on hold.”
Despite the Governors words, Defendant NYS BOE is doing worse than putting democracy on hold, it is partially cancelling democracy by cancelling the presidential primary.
The case is assigned to Judge Torres, and she has scheduled a telephonic hearing on Plaintiffs’ request for emergency relief for May 4.