Are Sanders’ Supporters Actually Voting?

by
Kate Brown
With a hard loss in New York this week, Sanders has lost some of the momentum he has been relying on—did he lose because his supporters weren’t able to vote?

bernie sanders

After first hearing of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ loss in the New York caucus, many clamored together on the internet, wondering what this means for his campaign.

Sanders is now behind Hillary Clinton 237 delegates (not including superdelegates). While constant reports of blatant voter fraud, indecently long lines, and poll booths being shut down continue to make headlines, many supporters of Sanders believe that the numbers are lying—but are they?

Looking strictly at numbers, voter turnout in New York has always been low; only 29 percent of eligible New York voters actually participated in midterm elections in 2014, and only 19 percent in the primaries in 2008. This year, however, there was a 32 percent voter turnout—still fairly low compared to other states. This generally low voter turnout may, in part, have something to do with the fact that you must be a registered Democrat in order to vote in the Democratic primaries, something that can easily fall by the wayside if voters aren’t careful and attentive.

In fact, if you are a registered Independent—which many of Sanders’ supporters are—you would have to switch parties a ridiculous 193 days before the New York primary. This is very different from many other states with closed elections that require voters to switch party registrations mere weeks before the primaries.

bernie sanders supporters

Recommended: 63,000 Purged Of Voter Registration In Brooklyn—How Many In the US?

Additionally, there are reports of 63,000 (some reports claiming up to 100,000) voters from Brooklyn who were purged from the voting lists because they “had not voted in the past two elections and that when inquiries were mailed to them, the U.S. Post Office marked the mail ‘undeliverable.’”

Many are saying that this is an intestinally confusing and complicated process, with some even whispering that Clinton’s campaign is behind some of the difficulties. Considering many millennials are voting for the first time, many must be finding it incredibly difficult and frustrating to have found out they aren’t allowed to vote because of something as inconsequential as your party registration.

This is especially important to point out considering Clinton won over 70 percent of the voters over the age of 65. On the other hand, Sanders stole the hearts and minds of the young voters, winning 72 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29, according to CNN exit polls.

It’s easy to be crestfallen when one looks at the increasingly large crowds that Sanders pulls into his rallies, only to see that he doesn’t seem to make a big enough dent in Clinton’s lead to get the candidacy. At this point, the best thing that Sanders and his campaign can hope for is to get a brokered convention.

Regardless, this entire presidential run has put a huge spotlight on the consistent voter fraud and dirty tactics bought politicians can employ to get what they want. Perhaps, even if Clinton does win the candidacy, the lawsuits that have been filed against the Board of Elections will be able to make some sort of change for the future. 

Banner Image Credit: Reuters

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