Ten days ago, the state Board of Elections canceled the New York Democratic presidential primary. Bringing voters out to polling places where social distancing might prove difficult or even impossible wasn’t worth risking lives when presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was the last man standing after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders withdrew from the race.

In an editorial on April 29, we wrote, “Gaining a few delegates to help push a platform for a candidate no longer in the race is no excuse for putting the health of voters at risk.”

The conclusions drawn by the election commissioners and in our editorial turned out to be premature if not entirely wrong.

As it turns out, the New York Democratic presidential primary will be held June 23 after a federal judge ruled Tuesday canceling it is unconstitutional. Not holding the election would deprive withdrawn presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang of proper representation at the Democratic convention, the judge ruled.

Every New Yorker eligible to vote in the June 23 primary election can now vote by mail-in absentee ballot.

We firmly believe that the democratic process must be defended and upheld. On the other hand, we don’t think it’s a good idea for voters to stand in line in crowded polling places.

People who want to exercise their civic duty should not have to endanger their health and risk endangering others, including election inspectors and poll workers. Having said that, we can’t urge strongly enough for as many New Yorkers as possible — and this goes for voters in Columbia and Greene counties — to vote by absentee ballot and don’t venture out to the polls unless you absolutely have to.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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