A Democratic presidential candidate needs 2,382 delegates to clinch the party nomination, and Hillary Clinton is almost there. Before Saturday, she held a total of 2323 delegates (including 547 superdelegates) in her grasp. Bernie Sanders currently holds 1547 (including 46 supers) to his name, and he’s continuing to vow a contested convention no matter what. Sanders is pinning his hopes upon California, where he’s placed the majority of his resources. That primary goes down on Tuesday, but Saturday’s Puerto Rico vote is crucial — much more so than for the Republicans, who chose the now defunct Marco Rubio — as the state contains 60 delegates on the Democrat side.
This was a long clusterf*ck of a primary day in Puerto Rico with claims of execution flaws from supporters on both sides. And the battle leading up to this vote was heated enough, since every delegate counts now. Clinton should sew up her nomination next week, but Sanders’ team will raise every question possible to justify a contested convention. He’s consistently railed against the existence of superdelegates, and his team now accuses the Democratic party of fraud in Puerto Rico. Apparently, his voting center officials weren’t allowed to enter prisons, but Clinton’s officials were permitted access:
The Hispanic vote director for the campaign of the Vermont senator, Betsy Franceschini, denounced a series of irregularities her work team faced Friday while thousands of inmates at the island’s correctional facilities were voting.
“Our Bernie Sanders officials were never certified. We had 40 officials we submitted in time for the prisons. Not one of them was certified, while all of theirs [Clinton’s] went in. Attorney Manny Suarez had to go in order for us to be let in. This is a great fraud.”
This points towards possible voter suppression for the Sanders side, but matters were made difficult for all voters in Puerto Rico. As with Arizona, the powers that be slashed polling locations from 1,510 to 432. Long lines forced people to wait many hours in the heat. This wouldn’t disadvantage one side over the other, but Sanders voters are the most vocal on Twitter.
The most awkward twist of this bit of news? Sanders reportedly asked for the reduction in polling places, as he couldn’t spare enough volunteers to staff the full amount of locations.
In the end, Clinton took an early lead in Puerto Rico and held on for the duration, although discernible results took several hours to reach. Once 22% of the vote finally slid into play, CNN projected her as the winner after she nabbed an estimated 64.2% of the vote while Sanders grabbed 35.3%. And yes, these results took forever.