Last week, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres granted a preliminary injunction against the New York Board of Elections’s decision to cancel the primary.
The board argued that the contest was essentially over, given that every other candidate suspended their campaigns, making former vice president Joe Biden the presumptive nominee. State officials feared that the election would harm poll workers and voters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After former presidential candidate Andrew Yang challenged the cancellation, bringing the issue to court, Judge Torres called the move unconstitutional. She said that the state had enough time to figure out the election for non-presidential primary races, including state and local contests.
Attorney General Letitia James and other state officials are appealing the decision. According to reports, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments this week.
This is the wrong move. New Yorkers deserve to have their voices heard in every election, even ones that are effectively over. While the health of poll workers and the voters is important, it’s also important to protect our democracy.
The country saw the disaster that occurred in Wisconsin during its primary. The state wasn’t prepared to handle voting in the age of the coronavirus. New York still has time to act, inform voters and be ready for a primary election.
Several states have already turned to voting by mail, including Washington, Colorado and California. New York should do the same, which would allow voters to cast their ballots while protecting workers from potential exposure to COVID-19.
Simply cancelling the primary election will do more harm than good. For that reason, James and the state’s attorneys should immediately drop their appeal.