Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams appears to continue to lead the pool of mayoral candidates after the New York Board of Elections released its latest batch of vote counts, an update on the tally before final results were released. solidify probably next week.
After the new landfill, Adams leads former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia by one percentage point, or 8,426 votes.
The tally updated Tuesday, delayed hours after the city’s board of elections predicted this round of results would be released, comes after a dizzying couple of weeks into the race, during which a BOE error marked the first use. of the city of the voting by classification.
Tuesday’s garbage dump included tens of thousands of absentee votes, and was expected to give a clearer picture of who will ultimately win. The winner of the Democratic primary will be the big favorite for the November general election.
Adams led the initial rounds of counting, but Garcia gained significant ground in the batch of ballots released last week.
Last Tuesday, the BOE launched the race into turmoil when it released new counts, only to then cryptically retract the data with little explanation beyond a “discrepancy” in the numbers it was working to correct.
Late in the evening, the board explained that it had not removed the sample ballots from the vote totals, skewing the numbers. He later corrected and republished the totals.
The confusion led to proverbial blows to the forehead among advocates of the new voting system, which New York voters approved during a 2019 ballot measure. Those advocates of good governance worry that the BOE’s blunder will scare other states away. and localities so that they do not use the method. They were quick to emphasize that the problem in New York was not specific to ranked voting.
“The BOE has now clarified that the discrepancy in the count was due to human error, not a problem with technology or voting by classification,” the governance group Common Cause New York said in a statement. “We are not at all happy that it happened, but it was a mistake that the BOE tries to correct.”
Rob Richie, chairman of the electoral reform group FairVote, told TPM that even the delay in getting results is more inherent to New York than ranking voting in general.
“Such delays are not intrinsic to the use of RCV,” he said of the ranked vote. “The largest cities in Minnesota and Maine and the two largest cities in New Mexico with RCV have ballot processing regimes that result in election night totals being effectively final.”
He said New York could take steps to smooth out its operation, including processing more absentee ballots on election night and making unofficial reported counts to be full vote records and not just first picks.
The BOE, which is populated by political appointees rather than seasoned election officials and has historically been plagued with nepotism, has earned the biggest black eye in the process. Some even ask for its complete reform.
However, some groups have been keeping a close eye on the Adams campaign in particular, which raised concern when attacked a last-minute campaign partnership between Garcia and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a common practice in rank-and-file elections, as nefarious and specifically intended to repress a black candidate and black voters. If Garcia beat Adams during the counting rounds, they were concerned that he could resurrect those damaging arguments.
But advocates of ranked voting are encouraging observers to look beyond New York’s particular kind of dysfunction, to what they see as gains from the new voting system.
“If the results hold today, women are likely to win 29 seats this November, down from 14,” Richie said. “Depending on the mayoral race, it appears that at least 3 of the 8 city and county president seats will be for African Americans.”