Bernie Sanders campaign claims win after DNC hands back access to voter file
Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has regained access to the Democratic party’s master voter file after a day of conflict and litigation between the insurgent Vermont senator and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Just hours after Sanders filed a lawsuit against the DNC, the national party agreed to restore the Sanders’ campaign access to a crucial voter database. In a statement, the campaign announced that the DNC “capitulated” and expressed its confidence that it would be able to return to normal by Saturday morning.
The DNC cut off its access to the all-important voter file, without which an effective presidential campaign cannot be run, on Wednesday after it was revealed that Sanders campaign staffers had improperly accessed confidential data belonging to the Clinton campaign. The staffers had been able to do so because of a glitch in the voter file during a routine software update by the vendor, NGP VAN.
The suspension of access to the voter file sparked an immediate uproar. In a Friday media conference, Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, accused the DNC of sabotage while his counterpart on the Clinton campaign, Robbie Mook, openly accused the Sanders campaign of committing theft on a conference call.
The DNC’s chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who was a national co-chair of Clinton’s 2008 campaign, said in a statement: “The Sanders campaign has now complied with the DNC’s request to provide the information that we have requested of them. Based on this information, we are restoring the Sanders campaign’s access to the voter file, but will continue to investigate to ensure that the data that was inappropriately accessed has been deleted and is no longer in possession of the Sanders campaign.”
In contrast, Weaver said: “We are extremely pleased that the DNC has reversed its outrageous decision to take Sen. Sanders’ data. The information we provided tonight is essentially the same information we already sent them by email on Thursday.”