DemDaily: The New York Election Debacle

July 1, 2021

Results after First Round of Rank-Choice Voting Tabulations

The corrected count in New York City's mayoral primary was released late yesterday, showing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and former NYC Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia in a close contest after the end of the first ranked-choice voting rounds.

Civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley, who trailed Garcia by only 347 votes after the first tabulation of rank choice rounds, was theoretically eliminated.

The results as to the final two candidates, however, will not be official until approximately 125,000 absentee ballots are tabulated in the coming weeks, leaving room for a shake up in the still tumultuous race.

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is an electoral system in which voters rank their preference of candidates on their ballots. If no candidate wins 50%+ in the first round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. The votes of the eliminated candidate are then reallocated to the second choice of the last-place finisher's voters. The process is repeated until a winner is declared from the final two.

New York Primary was June 22nd (Michael Santiago)

The Debacle
Wednesday's announcement, however, was eclipsed by Tuesday afternoon's New York Board of Elections debacle in which incorrect numbers were initially released, then rescinded, after the board said it had mistakenly included 135,000 test ballots in the totals.

The chaotic development in the country's largest and most consequential mayoral race fed into long-standing concerns over the board's competence and ability to manage New York's new ranked-choice system.

It also fed into the hands of the right-wing, with former President Donald Trump comparing the "vast irregularities" in the election board's counting to last year's presidential race, which he has repeatedly claimed was fraudulent.

Maya Wiley: This election is still "wide open" (John McCarten)

Final Results
The second ranked-choice voting tabulation results are expected July 6th. Results will include absentee ballots, which account for 15-20% of the total vote, and could be received up to seven days after Election Day. However, cured absentee ballots with corrected errors aren't due until July 9th, so results still won't be complete.

Final election results, barring legal challenges, should be certified on or about July 12th.

DemDaily: On The Ballot: New York 6/17/21


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Sources: New York Board of Elections, New York Times, CNN

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