What’s next for RI Bernie Supporters?
Per Senator Bernie Sanders, his goal is to still get as many delegates as possible to influence the Democratic Party platform and rules. Who knows what can happen in Rhode Island? There are nine delegates on the ballot per district. The goal in Rhode Island is for Sanders to get at least 25% of the vote in the Democratic primary. He has an excellent chance of accomplishing that especially since the Biden Rhode Island Campaign appears to be non-existent. I personally reached out and got no response back. Other candidates on the ballot are Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang.
The other critical reason to vote for Sanders is to emphasize to the Rhode Island Democratic establishment that Bernie Sanders supporters are still here and are watching and listening. A huge turnout for Sanders will give our progressive candidates more of a push heading into the September primary and will show solidarity that we will still be looking for major reforms especially now during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
The Green New Deal, Medicare-for-All, a livable wage, racial justice reforms and more are all still critical issues in the Ocean State. If Sanders voters send in their ballots and the Senator gets at least 25% of the primary vote, it will send a clear message to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio that the Sanders faction of the Democratic Party is not going anywhere. A weak turnout, on the other hand, will indicate that our voices are no longer critical and it will be a big win for establishment politics.
What can Bernie supporters do in RI? By all means get your mail-in ballot. Everyone should have received a letter from the Secretary of State’s office to send away for an official mail in ballot. You have to fill out the application by May 19th. If you are registered as unaffiliate please request a Democratic ballot. If you are registered Democrat you are all set. Everyone needs to check off the last option (D) as to why they want a mail in ballot, and then sign the form and mail it back. An Official Ballot will be sent after May 20th.
Once you get your ballot check off Bernie’s name and vote for Bernie delegates only and mail the official ballot back so it is received by June 2nd. If you have not received a request for a mail-in ballot you can download the application here.
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“Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and implementing social distancing practices, the Presidential Primary on June 2, 2020 will be a predominantly mail ballot election. All registered voters will receive a mail ballot application. For voters who cannot vote by mail and need to vote in person, please know there will be fewer polling places open.“
[Disclaimer: I am writing this as a Bernie Sanders supporter and as candidate for delegate. There is no official campaign in Rhode Island.]