Will CT have a primary election now that Bernie Sanders has dropped out of presidential race?


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, but is Connecticut’s primary still on? Since Sanders suddenly dropped out on Wednesday, many are asking if it is worth having a primary in the state of Connecticut.

RELATED: Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Secretary of State Denise Merrill told News 8 there is no point.

“I think this is pretty much a settled question on both sides of the aisle,” she said. “On the Republican side, President Trump has the delegates he needs, and now on the democratic side, it’s also a settled question mathematically.”

Sanders threw a curve ball with his announcement Wednesday, acknowledging he is too far behind former Vice President Joe Biden to catch up.

In an effort to gather more delegates in August at the Democratic National Convention, he wants to remain on the ballot.

Under state law, to cancel the primary, Merrill needs written permission or withdrawal letters from candidates like Sanders who have dropped out and are on the ballot.

She understands that in this climate and during the pandemic, voters still want their voices heard.

“There are people that want their vote to count,” Merrill said. “They want their day where they can vote for the candidate of their choice and I certainly respect that.”

Quinnipiac professor Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean said while the governor has pushed the primary to early June, there is still a question of where we will be in flattening the curve of the coronavirus outbreak.

“In this country, the greatest country there is, there’s no reason why people should have to choose between their life and being a part of democracy,” Brown-Dean said.

That choice was not given to voters in Wisconsin last Tuesday. Many never received their absentee ballots, others rushing to the polls while sick.

Merrill said that is not the plan for our state.

“Even under our state constitution, if you are unable to get to the polls, due to illness, you can get an absentee ballot. And even that I think will help alleviate people’s concerns on what they should do in this situation.”

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