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How the DNC Just Sabotaged Bernie Sanders’ Campaign in One Devastating Move

This move will cripple Sanders’ campaign unless it’s reversed.

As chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Debbie Wasserman Schultz has spent the last 8 months using her position to put a lid on Bernie Sanders’ momentum. And after what was arguably the biggest week of the Sanders campaign, she may have finally succeeded.

Late Thursday night, the DNC took the drastic step of cutting off the Sanders campaign’s access to its comprehensive 50-state voter file that lists voter patterns and preferences, effectively shutting down the campaign’s voter outreach operations just over a month before the critical Iowa caucus and a little over 50 days before the New Hampshire primary.

The punishment came about as the result of a 30-minute glitch in NGP VAN — the vendor that handles the DNC’s voter data — in which internal models for each Democratic presidential campaign were briefly available to other competing campaigns while NGP VAN was applying a patch to the software. Michael Briggs, a communications aide for the Sanders campaign, said this isn’t the first time they’ve reported security bugs in the DNC’s voter file.

“On more than one occasion, the vendor has dropped the firewall between the data of different Democratic campaigns. Our campaign months ago alerted the DNC to the fact that campaign data was being made available to other campaigns,” Briggs told Buzzfeed News. “At that time our campaign did not run to the media, relying instead on assurances from the vendor.”

The DNC has vowed to not grant the Sanders campaign access to the voter file until it has proved that it destroyed all of the Clinton campaign data it inadvertently accessed as a result of the glitch. However, as Reddit user bastion_of_press pointed out, the Sanders campaign cannot prove it destroyed something it doesn’t have, meaning the ban on accessing critical voter information could be indefinite.

“The DNC hires a group to manage their database and firewall between the campaigns. They screw up and some low level Sanders staffer sees and reports it. Nothing is saved or printed out and now the DNC is withholding crucial access to voter data until the Sanders campaign can prove it doesn’t have the data from the Clinton campaign and won’t release access to voter data unless somehow the Sanders campaign can prove a negative – that they have destroyed data they don’t have. Which is impossible.”

The news couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Sanders campaign, which recently announced its latest milestone of 2 million campaign contributions, with over $2 million raised in just 72 hours. Sanders also received major endorsements from the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America union and secured 88.9 percent of 270,000 votes cast in Democracy for America’s official endorsement poll.

This is far from the first time Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been accused of stifling Sanders’ voice in the Democratic primary contest. Schultz took considerable heat from Democrats for scheduling just six debates compared to the Republicans’ 12 debates. And those six debates are scheduled at times when the fewest amount of voters are likely to watch. In fact, the next Democratic debate, which is taking place on Saturday night at 8 PM Eastern, is happening at the same time as a primetime NFL football game.

Voters eager to pressure Debbie Wasserman Schultz to reverse her decision can call her office at 202-225-7931, and send emails to [email protected]. There’s also a petition circulating demanding Debbie Wasserman Schultz reinstate the Sanders’ campaign’s access to the 50-state voter file, displayed below.

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