New York's Democratic presidential primary on June 23 was upheld Tuesday by a federal appeals court, ensuring the vote will still be held. 

The state Board of Elections will not appeal it, Commissioner Douglas Kellner said in a statement. 

“Commissioner [Andrew] Spano and I have decided not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court so we can focus all of our attention on the daunting tasks of managing the primary election in a way that minimizes the risks to the public and to election workers, while we continue to urge the voters to take advantage of Governor Cuomo’s executive orders to permit the widespread use of absentee ballots during the public health emergency," Kellner said.

What You Need To Know

  • The June 23 presidential primary is back on.

  • It had initially been canceled by the Board of Elections.

  • But Andrew Yang successfully challenged it in state court.

  • The Bernie Sanders campaign had sought delegates ahead of DNC.

The decision is a blow to the state Board of Elections, which had moved to cancel the primary after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped his bid, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden the presumptive nominee. 

But that decision was challenged in federal court by former candidate Andrew Yang, a New York businessman. The initial ruling also struck down the board's decision to cancel the primary. 

Elections officials at the time cited the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for wanting to limit people gathering at polling places. New York will also hold congressional and state primaries, as well as special elections, on June 23.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in April, approved an executive order to send every eligible voter an absentee ballot application, and signed an order for no-excuse absentee balloting.

The development is a victory for supporters of Sanders in New York. The Sanders campaign had hoped to stay on ballots in states yet to vote to gain more delegates ahead of the Democratic National Convention this summer.  

"We applaud the court's decision to protect every New Yorker's right to vote in the Presidential primary," said Working Families Party State Director Sochie Nnaemeka.

"By voting for Bernie Sanders and sending his delegates to the convention, progressive voters can have a voice in shaping the Democratic Party platform that we need in this moment. If the Democratic Party is going to defeat Donald Trump and mobilize its base — many of whose lives have been upended by the COVID-19 crisis — it needs to put forward a platform that matches the scale of the crisis, and transforms our country for the better."