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Biden, Sanders Reach Deal Allowing Sanders To Keep Convention Delegates

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have reached a deal that will let Sanders keep the Democratic delegates that he earned in the state primaries, allowing him to have some sway over the Democratic party platform.
The pair announced the plan in a joint letter issued Thursday, avoiding what Politico says could have been a very messy fight between the two Democratic legislators.
“Candidates who exit the race before statewide delegates are selected are supposed to see the delegates they won reallocated to the remaining active candidates in the race. The rule applies to all dropped-out candidates — not just Sanders,” the outlet said.
Sanders was set to lose around a third of his delegates. Instead, the deal with Biden will allow the additional slots to be filled with Sanders supporters and, in return, “statewide and at-large delegates, which make up about a third of the total delegate count, will be allocated to Biden in order to comply with party rules,” per The Hill.
Since the statewide and at-large delegates haven’t been named, the two camps pledged to fill the slots with individuals who support both Sanders and Biden, in order to keep things fair.
It’s not a perfect agreement, but it does ensure that Sanders will not use his cache of delegates to upend Biden’s nomination — something that could be a possibility if more states follow New York’s lead and cancel their primaries, fearful that the lines and systems associated with voting could put voters at risk of catching the dreaded coronavirus.
It’s also a sign that the Biden campaign is aggressively courting Sanders supporters, in stark contrast to Clinton’s campaign, which left Sanders largely out in the cold after securing the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, leading to years of resentment.
“Our campaigns are grateful for the unity and spirit of collaboration within the Democratic Party as we look to defeat Donald Trump and establish a government by and for the American people,” a memo from the pair read. “We look forward to working with the state parties to implement this approach, as we elect delegates who reflect and represent the diversity that is the unique strength of our great nation.”
The state of New York is likely glad the pair inked a deal, too. Sanders supporters had threatened to sue the state over concerns that canceling a primary — rather than moving it to a mail-only contest or seeking out some other option — deprived them of their voice in the candidate selection process. Sanders himself called the situation “a blow to democracy,” per NBC News.
Thursday’s agreement reassures Sanders supporters that arrangements will be made to allocate some of New York’s delegates to Sanders team if New York is unable or chooses not to reschedule its Democratic primary.

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