Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ name is not on the primary ballot in Washington, D.C., after the D.C. Democratic Party submitted registration paperwork a day late and a voter filed a challenge, News4 has learned.
D.C. party officials called the problem a minor administrative dispute.
The Sanders’ campaign, as well as Hillary Clinton’s campaign, each submitted registration fees of $2,500 on time earlier this month in advance of the June 14 Democratic primary.
But D.C. Democrats did not email the candidates’ registration information to the D.C. Board of Elections until a day after the registration deadline of March 16, News4’s Tom Sherwood was first to report on Twitter.
A Democratic voter in D.C. filed a challenge against the Sanders’ campaign’s registration. No complaint was filed against Clinton’s registration.
“We did what D.C. law requires in order to get Bernie on the ballot, and we are confident he will be on the ballot,” a Sanders spokesman said in a statement to News4.
Board of Elections rules call for a hearing to be held on the challenge against the inclusion of Sanders on the ballot. The hearing is expected to occur as early as next week, sources said.
In a normal election season (we used to have those, right?), I wouldn’t read too much into this. Here in the Lewis Carroll-esque glory of 2016, however, it really isn’t a stretch to imagine that the “Democratic voter in D.C.” received a fat envelope during lunch with Debbie Wasserman Schultz just prior to filing the complaint.
The Democratic Party has been no less ham-handed in dealing with Bernie Sanders’ popularity than the GOP has in handling Trump. Democrats get a mostly free pass from the press for any internal strife they experience though. Sanders voters are so devoted that we could see a historic modern first: Democrats staying home on election day rather than acquiescing and voting dutifully for whomever is nominated. I would not bet on that just yet, but I might wager a few bucks on the party chairwoman having something to do with this.