As the polls closed on Super Tuesday, reports of voting problems started rolling in alongside the results, leaving some supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders wondering if someone is putting their thumb on the scale.
Rumors have long circulated that the Democratic Party is fraudulently trying to rig the game against Sanders, and reports of “long lines, voting machine issues, and…[Sanders] appearing on the second page of some ballots” have only added fuel to that fire, according to Breitbart.
Problems with polling
As Sanders racks up delegates in states like Nevada and California, former top Democratic primary contenders are dropping like flies to endorse his biggest competitor: former Vice President Joe Biden, who has won the support of once-rivals Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and even Mike Bloomberg. Biden supporters counted the former VP’s wins on Super Tuesday as evidence that their campaign is making a comeback — but not everyone is so sure it was a fair race.
Indeed, many of Tuesday’s alleged voting problems occurred in Texas, a state that Biden won narrowly. Voters reported on social media that Sanders didn’t even appear on the first page of the ballot, and that it was hard to find the second page.
Legit just created an entire Twitter account to tell the world @BernieSanders isn’t even on the first page of the ballot. You have to look for an icon located at the far bottom of the page then scroll to find his name #BernieBallot pic.twitter.com/kEeTCcDwKg
— Jules (@waterdiaries) March 3, 2020
Breitbart also posted several tweets showing photos of long lines at polling locations in Texas, California, and Tennessee — particularly, on college campuses, where support for Sanders was thought to be the strongest. Broken machines were thought to be the cause of long lines in some locations, Breitbart reported.
Another issue plaguing Texas this primary season is the fact that 750 polling locations in the state have been closed since 2012, most of which were located in areas with heavy black and Latino populations. While The Guardian characterized the move as benefitting Republicans in the general election, it could also hurt Sanders in the primary, who polls high with Latino voters.
Rigged against Bernie?
Besides voting problems, Sanders supporters are also frustrated by reports suggesting that Democratic Party officials want Sanders out of the race. Those questions only mounted after Biden received surprise endorsements from big-name moderates like Buttigieg and Klobuchar on Monday, helping the former VP inch ahead in the delegate count after Tuesday’s primaries, according to NPR.
Even President Donald Trump seems to support the theory that the Dems are working against Bernie. He tweeted Tuesday evening:
The Democrat establishment came together and crushed Bernie Sanders, AGAIN! Even the fact that Elizabeth Warren stayed in the race was devastating to Bernie and allowed Sleepy Joe to unthinkably win Massachusetts. It was a perfect storm, with many good states remaining for Joe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020
If the Dems are indeed trying to stack the deck against Sanders, it looks like it’s working. They know a self-proclaimed socialist can’t compete with Donald Trump in a general election, and they’re doing everything they can to make sure it doesn’t get to that point. But is it too late? (And do they really want “Sleepy” Joe Biden running the country?)
Either way, it’s sad that the Democratic Party doesn’t seem to trust its voters enough to let them decide. After all, the Republican Party establishment wasn’t exactly thrilled about Trump being the nominee in 2016, but look at how that has turned out.