Two Florida Democrats have filed a lawsuit to keep Sen. Bernard Sanders off the state’s presidential-primary ballot because he’s not a member of the party.
The lawsuit, which was filed this week in Leon County, argues that Mr. Sanders of Vermont is an independent and thus ineligible for the March 17 primary.
“Florida is a closed primary state, yet here we have someone who is an independent on the Democratic ballot,” Karen Gievers, attorney for the two plaintiffs, told Politico for a report filed Tuesday. “You can’t be an independent and be a member of the party.”
While Mr. Sanders caucuses with the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, he runs for election in Vermont as an independent and formally declares himself one in that state’s elections paperwork.
According to Politico, more than 244,000 Florida Democrats already have voted by mail, and the lawsuit asks the court to enjoin the state’s Democratic Party against counting any of them for now.
Under Florida law, the parties have wide discretion on who gets on their primary ballots.
According to the lawsuit, the two plaintiffs are Frank Bach and George Brown, both of Tallahassee. According to Ms. Gievers, they are both registered Democrats and military veterans.
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