The New York City Electoral Council will release a new vote count in the Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday.
Hopefully it goes better than last week when officials announced inaccurate numbers and had to retract them.
The updated tally on Tuesday is expected to include most of the roughly 125,000 Democratic postal ballots that were not included in the first tally. This should give us a better idea of who is likely to win the race, although final results are not expected until next week.
In a revised preliminary tally released last week, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams led his closest rival, Kathryn Garcia, the city’s former sanitation commissioner, by just 14,755 votes, ie a margin of around 2 percentage points.
Mr Adams must maintain his lead, while Ms Garcia hopes to overtake him by winning more mail-in votes in Manhattan and appearing on more ballots as voters’ second or third choice. Maya Wiley, former councilor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, was in third place and believes she still has a chance to win.
The city uses a new ranking voting system that allows voters to rank up to five candidates in order of preference. Since no one has won more than 50 percent of the first choice votes, the winner will be determined by an elimination process: the candidates with the lowest votes are eliminated in rounds, their votes being distributed to the candidate that these voters then rank.
Officials did not say when to expect the results on Tuesday, but the electoral council said in a statement cryptic Twitter post Tuesday morning the new results are expected to arrive during “brunch special” hours instead of “club hours” late at night. It sparked a playful debate on social media about exactly when it’s appropriate to eat brunch in New York City.
Many New York City voters got their first glimpse of how preferential voting can reshape an election last week, when the Council of Elections released a preliminary tally of election results.
Although Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams led his closest competitor by nearly 10 percentage points after the first round, that lead shrank considerably after the ranked pick results were compiled.
The electoral board will release new results on Tuesday, which will include nearly all mail-in ballots and could tighten the race further, or even produce a winner – although full results aren’t expected for a week or more.
This year’s primary marked the first time that the preferential vote was used in a New York City-wide election. Instead of selecting a single candidate from their ballots, voters ranked up to five, in order of preference.
During the Democratic mayoral primary, no candidate obtained more than 50% of the vote. As a result, the Election Council eliminated the last place finalist and redistributed the first choice votes for that candidate to the voters’ second choice choices.
The process continues, going through the voters’ third, fourth and fifth choice, until there is a winner with a majority of votes. When all of an elector’s choices have been eliminated, his ballot is said to be exhausted.
Here is more information on the preferential ballot and how the counting rounds work.
The ranked system of choice was also used in the primaries for the seats of the city council, the president of the district, the public lawyer and the comptroller. The ranked choice system did not come into play in the Republican mayoral primary because Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, won over 50 percent of the vote.
Preferential voting supporters say the system gives voters more votes, especially in cities like New York City, where crowded Democratic primaries are often as important as general elections. They also say it’s more profitable than running second-round contests.
Some critics have argued that the system is too complex. They also said election officials could have done more to educate the public about the system and how it works, although few problems were reported at the polls.
Maya Wiley finished third in a preliminary vote count in the New York mayoral race last week, but she believes she still has a path to victory.
“This remains a deeply competitive race,” said Ms Wiley, former councilor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, as she stood outside City Hall last week and demanded that every vote be counted.
Ms Wiley is hoping that a new vote tally on Tuesday that includes most of the remaining ballots will help her overtake her two main rivals, Eric Adams, the Brooklyn Borough President, and Kathryn Garcia, the former Commissioner. to the sanitation of the city.
Under the city’s new ranked voting system, Ms Wiley was eliminated in the ninth round after following Ms Garcia by less than 350 votes.
Mathematically, it’s still possible for her to win at the end, even if she has to win a significant share of the absent votes in the parts of town where she did well on primary day. She has conducted numerous polls in neighborhoods known to young progressive voters, including Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Long Island City in Queens and the East Village in Manhattan.
She must also be placed second or third by many voters who preferred to lose candidates like Andrew Yang and Scott Stringer.
But Ms. Garcia has a significant advantage in Manhattan, the borough with the most absent votes, while Mr. Adams is strong across Brooklyn and the outer boroughs. Additionally, Ms Garcia made a late alliance with Mr Yang, the 2020 presidential candidate, and may be more likely to be ranked second on her supporters’ ballots.
Still, Ms Wiley consolidated support from progressive leaders like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the final weeks of the race, and she did better than expected on primary day, receiving more first-choice votes than Ms Garcia. .
The likely composition of the next city council will become clearer on Tuesday when the elections council releases new prioritized results that are expected to include a significant number of postal ballots.
More than half of city council members will leave their seats at the end of the year, largely due to term limits preventing them from running for re-election. Most, but not all, of the incumbents who sought re-election won an easy victory on Primary day.
But the outcome of the Democratic primary races for most of the open seats remained uncertain. On Friday night, the Election Council released a preliminary table of ranked picks in each council primary. The results did not include the postal ballots, but they do offer the clearest picture to date of the city’s new legislative body.
If Friday night’s results hold, women are expected to form a majority on city council for the first time in the city’s history. At the end of ranked-choice tabs, women led in 29 of 51 Democratic primaries.
Still, the margins in some of these contests currently seem slim, and postal ballots will be key to the end result.
In District 32, where Democrats hope to overthrow the last Republican seat in Queens, Felicia Singh, a teacher supported by the Working Families Party, passed just 405 votes against Michael Scala, a lawyer, in the last round. The winner of this race will face Joann Ariola, who won the Republican primary, in November.
In District 18 of the Bronx, Amanda Farias, a community organizer, was behind William Rivera, the district director of a Bronx community council, by 119 first-choice votes. But after five rounds, Ms Farias had garnered enough support from voters who initially selected other candidates that she ended up leading by 252 votes.