Andrew Yang Sues New York State Board Of Elections Over Canceled Primary

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks to reporters in the spin room after the Democratic presidential primary debate at St. Anselm College on February 07, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is suing the New York State Board of Elections over its recent decision to cancel the Democratic Party’s primary in the state. According to Politico, Yang is suing the state along with seven New Yorkers who were registered to serve as the Humanity Forward founder’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

The New York State Board of Election announced their decision to strip every candidate but Joe Biden from the ballot on Monday. The lawsuit reportedly claims that removing Yang from the ballot “denies voters due process and denies voters the right to vote” and notes that neither Yang nor his delegate candidates had any say in their removal from the ballot.

According to the lawsuit, the board is “suppressing voter turnout” by decreasing the incentive to vote by preventing people from voting for the “the highest office in the land” and “negatively” impacting challenger candidates. One such candidate is Jonathan Herzog, a universal basic income (UBI) advocate who is running against Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler in New York’s 10th District.

As reported by Bloomberg Law, the lawsuit claims the move could potentially provide Donald Trump with a roadmap on canceling the November presidential election. The suit alleges that Trump could argue that it’s “too dangerous to vote” and notes that it’s impossible to “accurately predict” when it will be completely safe to vote via election ballots.

The lawsuit comes after Bernie Sanders‘ campaign slammed New York’s decision to cancel its primaries. Sanders notably asked to stay on the ballot and is attempting to gain as many delegates as possible to push a progressive agenda at the Democratic National Convention.

In a statement on the move, Sanders’ senior advisor Jeff Weaver echoed Yang’s lawsuit and pointed to Biden’s suggestion that Trump could use the COVID-19 crisis to cancel the November election, The New York Post reported.

“Well, he now has a precedent thanks to New York state,” he said.

Weaver claims that New York has “clearly violated its approved delegate selection plan” with its recent decision to cede the state’s 274 delegates to Biden.

“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.”

Jay Jacobs, New York State Democratic Party chairman, previously said that Sanders’ decision to continue vying for delegates was a “mistake” that would divide the Democratic Party.