Update 6/23/2015. This post turned out to be much ado about nothng. The State Board of Elections ruled that Bernie Sanders’ party status will be no barrier to him appearing on the 2016 Democratic Presidential Election Ballot.
Bernie Sanders might not get on the ballot for the 2016 New York Democratic presidential primary.
Under New York law, you have to be a member of a political party in order to be a candidate in that party’s primary election, unless the governing committee of that party makes an exception.
The chair of the New York Democratic Party is former Gov. David Paterson and the executive committee chair is Sheila Comar. The committee headquarters is in mid-town Manhattan, and the committee can be contacted by through its web site.
Sanders has said that he will support the nominee of the Democratic Party. So unless the New York Democratic Committee opens the state primary, New Yorkers won’t get a chance to vote for him at all—unless he wins the nomination, of course.
It is the Wilson-Pakula Act that reportedly bars people from running in primary campaigns for nominations of parties to which they do not belong. This law was enacted in 1947 in order to prevent socialists and Communists from running in primaries of the two major parties.
There is no political party registration in Vermont, so Sanders could register in that state as a Democrat if he wanted to. He ran for mayor of Burlington, for the House of Representatives and for the Senate as an independent, not a Democrat, but he voted in Congress with the Democratic caucus to name committee chairs and other business.
The New York Board of Elections ruled that Bernie Sanders’ party status will not be a barrier to him running in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. For one thing, voters do not vote directly for presidential candidates. They vote for delegates to the Electoral College who are pledged to a particular candidate.
Elections Board: Bernie Sanders can appear on primary ballot by Bill Mahoney for Capital New York. [Added 6/23/2015]
Democrats May Keep Bernie Off New York Primary Ballot by Emma Whitford for The Gothamist.
All We Are Saying Is Give Bernie a Chance by Steve Hayward for Powerline.
Bernie Sanders’s primary problem by Charles F. Bass for the Washington Post.