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4 Mar, 2020 04:04

Sanders leads & sues to keep LA polls open later as California turns into Super Tuesday's biggest prize

Sanders leads & sues to keep LA polls open later as California turns into Super Tuesday's biggest prize

Voters in California who found their path to the ballot box obstructed by long delays were given an additional two hours to cast their votes. The Sanders campaign had filed an emergency injunction to ensure this would happen.

People reported long lines throughout LA County on Super Tuesday, where the rollout of a new voting system has – unsurprisingly, perhaps – gone less than smoothly. The new system shuttered thousands of neighborhood polling venues in favor of larger regional centers, leaving voters with little choice but to wait in line for up to four hours.

Los Angeles County elections chief Dean Logan announced that people who had shown up before the 8pm deadline would still be able to cast their votes.

The two-hour extension to the voting deadline was what the Bernie Sanders campaign was asking for in a request for an emergency injunction by a federal court.

Voters were urged to stay in line on social media by Sanders supporters and state officials, including Governor Gavin Newsom.

The Sanders campaign is hoping to pull off a victory and the decision to keep the stations open is likely to improve his chances, as the people affected by the delays appear to be mostly from the Vermont senator's supporter base. Exit polls conducted by CNN showed Sanders trouncing Biden, particularly among non-white and young voters.

The candidate has energized the progressive wing of the party as he did in 2016 and attracted endorsements from his congressional peers, including California Rep. Ro Khanna and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar; activist groups, including Sunrise Movement and Black Lives Matter; and celebrities, including actors John Cusack and Cynthia Nixon.

After handily clinching his home state of Vermont with 50.9 percent of the vote, Sanders surged in several other states, only to be repeatedly overtaken by Biden. However, Utah and Colorado were called for the democratic socialist, and he is leading in California – the country's most populous state, with plenty of delegates that will give him a sizable advantage going into the 2020 convention. Sanders started the primary season off strong, winning the New Hampshire primary as well as the Nevada caucus and – by popular vote, at least – the Iowa caucus.

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However, the LA County glitch isn’t the first time the candidate has has been shafted by rogue technology. Iowa’s caucus was marred by an app, developed by Democratic Party insiders, that altered vote totals instead of accurately reporting them. The resulting chaos saw establishment favorite Pete Buttigieg declare victory without a single vote counted and win more delegates than Sanders, despite losing the popular vote by over 6,000. In an uncanny echo of that catastrophe, the LA County machines are known to be susceptible to outside interference capable of changing ballots or rendering them unreadable, raising the question of why California’s secretary of state would opt to certify the $300 million system despite what multiple experts have claimed are myriad physical and digital security flaws.

Fortunately – for Sanders and LA voters – some 63 percent of registered voters in the county requested absentee paper ballots, perhaps seeing this disaster coming. Establishment Democrats have made no secret of their distaste for Sanders, who while running with the party has served in the Senate as an independent for most of his political career. Mainstream media pundits have gone off the deep end clutching their pearls over his candidacy, from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who likened his primary victories to the Nazis crossing the Maginot Line, to Anderson Cooper, who attempted to red-bait the senator by digging up a compliment he’d paid Fidel Castro’s education system in Cuba.

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