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New York cancels its Democratic presidential primary due to Covid-19

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Times Square New York AFP / Angela Weiss

In an unprecedented move, New York has cancelled its Democratic presidential primary originally scheduled for June 23 amid the coronavirus epidemic.

The Democratic members of the State’s Board of Elections voted Monday to nix the primary. New York will still hold its congressional and state-level primaries on June 23.

New York Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs has said that the cancellation of the state’s presidential primary would mean a lower expected turnout and a reduced need for polling places.

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“It just makes so much sense given the extraordinary nature of the challenge,” Jacobs said last week.

Local election officials and voting groups have called on the state to use federal funds to purchase cleaning supplies and protective gear, and boost staff ahead of 2020 elections.

Both the state’s Democratic Party and Governor Andrew Cuomo have said they didn’t ask election commissioners to make the change, which is allowed thanks to a little-known provision in the recently passed state budget that allows the New York board of elections to remove names of any candidates who have suspended or terminated their campaign from the ballot.

The decision to cancel a Democratic primary is left up to Democratic state election commissioners.

Former Democratic presidential candidate and US Senator Bernie Sanders announced earlier this month that he had suspended his campaign. In a letter Sunday, a lawyer for the Sanders campaign asked the commissioners not to cancel the primary.

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“Senator Sanders has collaborated with state parties, the national party and the Biden campaign, to strengthen the Democrats by aligning the party’s progressive and moderate wings. His removal from the ballot would hamper those efforts, to the detriment of the party in the general election,” a lawyer for his campaign, Malcolm Seymour, wrote in a letter obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

New York voters can now choose to vote with an absentee ballot in the June primaries under a Cuomo executive order that adds the risk of acquiring Covid-19 as a reason to vote absentee. Cuomo also recently announced the state is sending mail-in ballots to voters.

Jacobs has said it’s a significant change, but that the party’s ready.

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“It’s a big process for us. We don’t have many weeks to get it into place before the primary,” Jacobs said. “It’s going to be difficult to execute but we’re going to do it.”

(FRANCE 24 with AP)


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2020 Election

Trump whines that he shouldn’t be blamed for ‘Lock Her Up!’ chants — as his supporters chant it

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President Donald J. Trump refuted responsibility for his rally cries of "lock her up" during a campaign stop in Martinsburg, Penn. Monday.

"Lock her up," the crowds chanted. To which Trump replied, "Now [the chants] are happening with [Joe] Biden because that's a crime family, frankly. But every time that happens, when they say, 'lock her up,' they always blame me and I have nothing to do with it."

Watch the video below.

After the crowd chants "lock her up!" for Hillary Clinton, Trump says "now [the chants] are happening with Biden because that's a crime family, frankly. But every time that happens, when they say 'lock her up,' they always blame me & I have nothing to do with it." pic.twitter.com/SjKrfadJIv

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2020 Election

‘Segregated South type behavior’: Americans are furious at ‘scared’ Texas’s Gov. Abbott deploying Guard troops to the polls

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that he is deploying troops to the polls in the state, something that a president can't even do because it can suppress the vote.

“The Texas Army National Guard said Monday it had been ordered to dispatch 1,000 troops to five major cities around the state in conjunction with the Nov. 3 election,” San Antonio Express-News reported on Monday.

It sent people into flames of rage claiming that it was an example of a Republican governor behaving like a segregationist from the 1950s.

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2020 Election

Phil Collins rips Trump for playing ‘In the Air Tonight’ to mock coronavirus at his super-spreader rallies

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Musician Phil Collins has not been pleased with President Donald J. Trump's use of his song, "In the Air Tonight" at his campaign rallies. Collins' legal team sent a cease and desist letter Monday reiterating that the president stop playing his music without permission.

"We wrote you on June 24, 2020 demanding that the Trump campaign cease infringing the musical copyright in the musical work 'In the Air Tonight.' Another copy of our June 24, 2020 letter is attached. Our previous letter also noted that the campaign’s use of the work constituted an implied and false endorsement of Mr. Trump. It also noted Mr. Collin’s express and unequivocal statement that he wants no affiliation whatsoever with The President or the Trump campaign."

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