3 million People Barred from Voting in New York’s Primary

Only people registered with a party can vote in Tuesday's New York presidential primary, because of New York’s strict closed primary rules. More than 3 million people won’t be able to participate.

New York has a cunning scheme that will prevent a significant part of Bernie Sanders’ voters from participating in New York’s Presidential Primary. Strict closed primary rules allow only people registered with a party to vote. It means that only registered Democrats can vote for Democratic presidential candidates, and only registered Republicans can vote for Republicans. More than 3 million people in the state, and nearly a million in the city, will be unable to vote in next week’s contest.

“Independent voters are shut out and everyone else was forced to pick which primary they wanted to vote in six months ago,” said John Opdycke, president of Open Primaries, referring to the deadline to register with a party. “The political rules keep the voters powerless.”

It is quite logical to assume that independent and small parties would choose Bernie over Hillary because he represents the working middle class. These state’s rules are just another legal way to help Hillary Clinton win. Obviously, she has more power in her home state. But let’s not forget that those who cheat to come to power also cheat when they get power.

“If you want to vote in New York, you really have to want to; and even if you want to vote, sometimes they won’t let you,” said New York Assemblyman Fred Thiele.

Almost 150 people protested the state’s closed primary system in front of New York City Hall on Thursday. They feel upset and think that the state’s rules are the “largest act of voter suppression in the state of New York.”

This system indeed violates the constitutional rights of citizens, because it obliges them to join the party regardless of their desires in order to participate in the political life of the country. Why can’t Americans organize and participate in the political process without the permission of two major parties?


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