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OpinionColumnistsMark Chiusano

Will there be a Democratic primary on June 23 in New York?

Then-Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left,

Then-Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and former Vice President Joe Biden gesture during a Democratic presidential primary debate on Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas. Credit: AP/John Locher

More official clarity on that question may come at a 1 p.m. event on Wednesday titled “Determination of Publicly Suspended Campaigns” on the state Board of Elections website. 

A section of this year’s budget legislation gives the board the power to “omit” a presidential candidate from the ballot if that candidate has suspended his or her campaign. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has done so, but indicated a desire to stay on the ballot, a way to influence the party platform going forward. 

It’s a tender issue for a party wracked by ideological disputes, but there are indications that Sanders might be getting the boot. In an April 14 email to a Long Island assemblyman obtained by The Point, a regional representative for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office wrote, “On 4/8 you asked if Bernie Sanders's name will be taken off the primary ballot. Yes, we have confirmed that his name will be removed from the primary ballot.​”

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said, “Whoever said that wasn’t speaking for us.”

“That’s a decision solely made by the Board of Elections,” he added. 

In a Tuesday HuffPost story, Douglas Kellner, the state Board of Elections Democratic co-chair, indicated winds swinging toward removal for Sanders: “I anticipate that we will be removing him.”

Whatever decision is made, it has to come relatively soon. State Democratic Party leader Jay Jacobs says May 9 is the deadline for production of ballots.

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