Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang sued the New York State Board of Elections after it voted to effectively cancel the state’s upcoming primary, CNN reports.
New York became the first state to cancel its presidential nominating contest amid the coronavirus outbreak after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign.
Democratic elections commissioner Douglas Kellner told CNN that Sanders’ decision “basically rendered the primary moot.”
"At a time when the goal is to avoid unnecessary social contact, our conclusion was that there was no purpose in holding a beauty contest primary that would marginally increase the risk to both voters and poll workers," he said.
Yang, who dropped out of the race months earlier, filed a lawsuit against the board of elections along with seven New Yorkers who planned to be his delegates at the Democratic National Convention.
"This unprecedented and unwarranted move infringes the rights of Plantiffs and all New York State Democratic Party voters, of which there are estimated to be more than six million, as it fundamentally denies them the right to choose our next candidate for the office of President of the United States," the lawsuit says.
"It is reasonable to take precautions to allow for safe voting, but such decisions cannot arbitrarily pertain to some elections and not others,” the complaint added. "Defendants cannot provide any colorable justification as to why they canceled the presidential primary and not other federal and state primaries. By doing so, Defendants are attempting to create a dangerous precedent."
Sanders camp wants NY to lose delegates:
The Sanders campaign called for the state to lose all of its delegates in response to the move.
"What the Board of Elections is ignoring is that the primary process not only leads to a nominee but also the selection of delegates which helps determine the platform and rules of the Democratic Party," said top Sanders adviser Jeff Weaver.
"If this is not remedied, New York should lose all its delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention and there should be a broader review by the Democratic Party of New York's checkered pattern of voter disenfranchisement," he added.