Sanders Could Face Challenge Entering Democratic Primary in New Hampshire

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) might not qualify as a Democrat on the voting ballot in New Hampshire, according to Charles Bass — a former Republican congressman who helped draft New Hampshire’s election laws.

“State law makes clear that candidates must be registered members of the party on whose ballot line they wish to appear,” Bass said. “One might ask why the good senator can’t simply change his registration in his home state from socialist or independent to Democrat. The answer is that Vermont doesn’t have a party registration system, so he can’t.”

Bass was also critical of Sanders’ party identification in a recent op-ed in the Washington Post.

“Sanders is not a Democrat, has not been elected as a Democrat, has never served as a Democrat and cannot plausibly claim, at least in New Hampshire, to be a Democrat,” Bass wrote.

Bass argues that Sanders won the Democratic primary in Vermont, but declined his nomination, requesting that he not appear as a Democrat on the general election ballot. Bass predicts because of this, Sanders’ candidacy will be challenged in New Hampshire when he files his papers for the Democratic primary at the Secretary of State’s office.

If Sanders were not recognized as a candidate in the Democrat primary, he wouldn’t face front-runner Hillary Clinton, and would end up on the general election ballot as an Independent.


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