New York, 6am on April 19th, voters are lined up outside their early polling places. They are taking their civic responsibility to vote seriously, and have come to an early polling place to avoid missing work or obligations. They are here to speak their voice on their candidate preference for a contentious Presidential race. What did they encounter? Long lines and unnecessary waiting for early polling locations to open as promised. This promise that was never fulfilled in Green Point, Brooklyn as well as other shuttered voting spots across the state. When many early open sites finally cracked their doors, it was into regular polling hours, and disenfranchisement was well under way.
Both Republican and Democrat party members were made to to wait extended periods for ballots after initially being turned away from voting due to lack of supplies or equipment. Hopeful voters faced broken machines, and were asked to cast paper ballots into boxes for their primary choices. They were advised their votes would be ‘counted later’ by volunteers. Registered voters in Sanders home turf were surprised to find that well over 120,000 voters had been purged from voting records in Brooklyn alone. Lack of faith in the process took hold nationwide. Across the nation voters were supported as much as possible with accurate information from strangers.The internet exploded in tweets, posts, and blogs advising turned away voters to speak their rights for provisional ballots, or to see an Election Board Judge to reinstate their right to vote. However, long lines to appear before a board Judge were just another deterrent from participating in protected constitutional democracy. In light of the overwhelming suppression cynicism took over and again the call was heard round the web to supply accurate information to the voters stricken of their voice. They phone banked, made signs, and stood outside polling locations to ensure other voters knew their rights. Armed with information voters demanded their provisional ballots and called the voter fraud hotline at 4 times the rate of previous presidential primary elections.
New York City Controller Scott Stringer advised mid voting hours that there would be a full audit of all voting apparatus, stating –
“There is nothing more sacred in our nation than the right to vote,”. Stringer went on to say that there would be a probe of the troubled election agency.
“Unfortunately in New York City, this is nothing new,”
“And yet the incompetence of the Board of Elections puts a cloud over these results. It’s time we clean up this mess.”
A cloud does indeed hang over the New York Primary results, as few voters believe the numbers reported.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a strong Clinton supporter, commented that he is calling for resolution.
“I am calling on the Board of Election to reverse that purge,” said de Blasio. “We support the Comptroller’s audit and urge its completion … so corrective action can be taken.”
Purged or disenfranchised voters are looking to local leadership for fairness and equality for all voters. Will their suppression of their constitutional rights be amended by promise of probe? Will the corrective action Mayor de Blasio mentions include voting reinstatement for the estimated 200,000 people unable to vote simply because polls were inept? An additional 3 million were kept from voting due to non democrat party affiliations and New York’s closed primary system. Local protestors intend to keep the conversation active and the narrative on the hundreds of thousand votes from New York that were already cast and have not yet been counted.
As members of the Democratic party find the actions of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, less palatable, rumors of an Sanders run as an Independent on the 2016 presidential ballot swirl. Roughly 42% of the United States identifies as Independent for their political party choice. Party run closed primary races steal opportunity from communities to speak their voice on preference, forcing them to align with the candidates presented by the Democratic or Republican National Committees. The RNC continues to strategize to slow down the Trump train, however with theoretical results of a 60% sweep in New York yesterday, the reality of ‘The Donald’ is knocking on doors – loudly. Senator Sanders has long polled as the only democrat who can best any Presidential nominee put forth by the Republican establishment, but is not supported by the DNC due to close ties and allegiance to President and Secretary Clinton’s political machine.
As Senator Sanders momentum continues a tie between Sanders and Clinton is inevitable. With wide spread margins of likability and policy stances, Sanders is loved by his supporters while Clinton is tolerated by middle democrats with no cross over to gain votes from the GOP. Secretary Clinton will not be supported by Republican voters that oppose Donald Trump. However, Sanders in opposition to Trump leads directly to the White House. Fans of infrastructure and original party platform politics ala Roosevelt see the need for change and revision to return the country to be self-sustaining and free from crushing debt. The DNC rabidly purports Clinton as the nominee, against many of it’s members due to her neo liberal platform and lack of desire to change the system at large. Clinton cannot expect votes from most Sanders supporters due to desire for political revolution and system overhaul. Inability to settle for the status quo brings forth the question of whether there will be 3 contentious named on the November ballot. Clinton as a Democrat, Trump as a Republican, and Sanders as Independent. This scenario also leads to a sweep for Sanders as Independents, Democrats, and moderate Republicans choose their fate. The electoral college and closed primaries have taken the power of voting from the people and handed it directly to established parties to continue status quo politics, obscene fundraising, and suppression. If the democratic nomination doesn’t go to Sanders, the party will likely fracture irreparably due to sweeping desire for political reform.
What is most noticeable is the loud cry of equality, justice, and freedom in democracy from Senator Sanders’ campaign, while Secretary Clinton’s camp remains silent on the constitutional violations and suppression of voters nationwide. As the two democratic candidates fight their way to a contested convention and nomination in June, a common theme has appeared. Mainstream media reports fabricated polling numbers, bias, and turns its back on investigative journalism to prop up the DNC’s poor choice in a proven non electable and disliked candidate such as Secretary Clinton.
*Quotes from New York Daily News.