Bernie Sanders faces yet another challenge on the route to gaining the Democratic presidential nomination. Last week it was reported that the Vermont senator had been left off the upcoming ballot for the primary election in Washington, DC.
There is much speculation as to why Sanders was left off the ballot. His campaign turned in the $2,500 registration fee as well as the proper forms before the deadline. Once the paperwork was in the hands of the District of Columbia Democratic Party matters were out of Senator Sanders hands. The D.C. Democratic Party then delivers the filings to the Board of Elections.
As far as D.C. Democratic officials, they’ve chalked up the exclusion as a “minor administrative dispute.” D.C. Democratic Party Chairwoman Anita Bonds has said that the problem can be solved with an emergency vote by the D.C. Council.
The situation could also be resolved if the Board of Elections ruled it as an administrative error and corrected it.
D.C. Democratic Party Chairwoman Anita Bonds explained to a CNN journalist that the party’s deadline is a few hours after the Board of Elections closes. Her staff routinely misses the deadline, delivering the filings the next day.
“This has been kind of a tradition in the District of Columbia, that the party would notify the board the following day,” Bonds said. Bond claims there has never been any issues with blatant disregard for the deadline until now, because someone challenged adding Sanders to the ballot. Now, when every vote counts in this tight Democratic race, deadlines become relevant. Go figure.
A school teacher, Robert Brannum, who is also former president of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations has filed a motion challenging the addition of Senator Sanders to the D.C. Ballot.
Margarita Mikhaylova, spokeswoman for the elections board, confirmed Wednesday that a challenge has been filed. A hearing on the matter is planned April 6.
When it was announced that the senator has been excluded from the ballot a spokesperson for the Sanders campaign said in a statement “We did what D.C. law requires in order to get Bernie on the ballot, and we are confident he will be on the ballot.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager tweeted
“An administrative error should not keep a candidate off the ballot. Let’s get @BernieSanders on the ballot in DC.”
Eyes are on D.C. and the City Council and the District’s Democratic Party to see how this will be rectified. This “error” comes as many of Senator Sanders supporters have accused the democratic party of antics to sway the election in the favor of Hillary Clinton.
The exclusion, which could be a major upset to Democratic voters in Washington, D.C., also comes among rumors of voter fraud and suppression out of Arizona.
There have been reports of people standing in Arizona voting lines for 5 hours or more, being turned away and told that they weren’t properly registered, given ballots they were told wouldn’t count, and more. I fact there were hundreds of people still in long voting lines when they started announcing the winners in Arizona. There are may stories in this thread on REDDIT from Arizona voters who had issues voting or weren’t able to at all. A petition was started on Whitehouse.gov to get the president’s administration to look into Arizona voter suppression in fact.
Hopefully such drastic measures won’t be needed in the nations capital. 20 delegates will be awarded to the candidates in the D.C. Democratic primary.