Senator Bernie Sanders, who is challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, will face a significant legal barrier if he attempts to run in next year's New York primary while remaining unaffiliated with a party.
A section of state election law commonly known as Wilson-Pakula prohibits candidates from appearing on the ballot in a party’s primary unless they are either enrolled members or receive the approval of the party’s committee.
Sanders, of Vermont, is an independent and so would need the approval of the state’s Democrats to get his name on the ballot. Clinton’s deep political connections to New York make the likelihood of them doing so even less.
“Hadn’t thought about it, but my initial answer would be no,” Assemblyman Keith Wright said when asked if he thought Sanders should be allowed on the ballot for New York’s Democratic primary. Wright served as co-chair of the state party from 2012 until 2014. The current chair, former governor David Paterson, did not return a request for comment. Paterson, however, has a history of unwavering loyalty to Clinton, who interrupted her 2008 primary campaign to celebrate his unexpected gubernatorial swearing-in ceremony after Eliot Spitzer resigned. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who appointed both men to their party posts and controls most of the party apparatus, similarly has a long-standing relationship with the Clinton family.
Even if Sanders gets the party’s permission to attempt to get on the ballot in New York, actually doing so would require significant resources. New York’s ballot access laws are among the nation’s most restrictive and have created problems for presidential candidates before.
After talking with Richard Winger of Ballot Access News With I did further review of this issue. I found that "A Wilson-Pakula is an authorization given by a political party to a candidate for public office in New York State for a person not registered with that party to run as its candidate."
The other issue is "A state's primary election or caucus usually is an indirect election: instead of voters directly selecting a particular person running for President, it determines how many delegates each party's national convention will receive from their respective state. These delegates then in turn select their party's presidential nominee.
So Sanders will have to collect the required signatures and gather electors to get on the ballot.
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NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker Technorati Tag in Del.icio.us