Democratic Convention, Nevada, May 14.
The 16 hour-long Democratic Convention in Nevada crumbled into chaos on May 14, TeleSUR English said that day, as supporters of socialist presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders raised allegations of voter suppression.
US Uncut reported on May 17 that Sanders issued a blistering response to the Nevada convention in which he denounced the entire process as illegitimate.
The concerns of voter suppression were raised as supporters of Sanders were sidelined and forced to leave the convention venue without their demands for a delegate recount met.
Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton secured seven out of 12 delegates up for grabs at the convention hosted at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, even though her total supporters only narrowly outnumbered Sanders' supporters.
Backers of the Vermont Senator demanded a recount, which was ruled out before the voting process was even finished. Party leaders reportedly “fled the building among a chorus of boos,” according to Real Clear Politics.
Tensions flared when a vote passed with support from the Clinton camp to adopt temporary convention rules as permanent rules. Sanders voters viewed this as an unfair vote that passed without winning a clear majority. They began to protest, shouting chants such as “this is fixed” and criticising the party leaders, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
The Sanders camp was also angered over delegate counts, which saw Clinton with a slight advantage with 1695 delegates present versus 1662 for Sanders, The Hill reported.
Sanders supporters prepared a “minority report”, detailing the alleged wrongful exclusion of a total of 64 Sanders delegates, raising concerns of voter suppression.
The Las Vegas Sun reported Democratic party officials stated that 58 of them were blocked from participating due to problems with their registration.
Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader is among those that have accused the Democrats electoral process of disadvantaging Sanders through the system of closed primaries. The system of unelected superdelegates — drawn from the party machine, the majority of whom have thrown their support behind Clinton — has also been labelled anti-democratic by many.
Only eight Clinton delegates were denied access at the Nevada convention, more than seven times fewer than on the Sanders side.
In the aftermath, Sanders declared: “It is imperative that the Democratic leadership, both nationally and in the states, understand that the political world is changing and that millions of Americans are outraged at establishment politics and establishment economics,” Sanders said in a public statement.
“The people of this country want a government which represents all of us, not just the 1%, super PACs and wealthy campaign contributors.”