New York botched the mayoral primary election in stunning fashion. The board of elections issued a statement last night saying: “We are aware there is a discrepancy in the unofficial RCV round by round elimination report. We are working with our RCV technical staff to identify where the discrepancy occurred. We ask the public, elected officials and candidates to have patience.”
Later, the board clarified with another statement saying that around 135,000 test-ballot “votes” were inadvertently counted and that they will go back and re-tabulate the results: “The Board apologizes for the error and has taken immediate measures to ensure the most accurate up to date results are reported.”
The current leader and former cop Dem Eric Adams said:“The vote total just released by the Board of Elections is 100,000-plus more than the total announced on election night, raising serious questions. We have asked the Board of Elections to explain such a massive increase and other irregularities before we comment on the Ranked Choice Voting projection. We remain confident that Eric Adams will be the next mayor of New York because he put together a historic five-borough working class coalition of New Yorkers to make our city a safer, fairer, more affordable place,” he said.
From The AP:
Adams’ campaign, which had publicly pointed out the vote discrepancy shortly after the faulty count was released, said in a statement that it remained confident he would ultimately prevail.
The publicized vote totals had included an unexpected jump in the number of ballots counted Tuesday compared to the number counted on the day of the primary.
Garcia said in a late afternoon news conference, before the numbers were withdrawn, that she was confident she had a path to victory, but wasn’t “counting any chickens before they’ve hatched.”
Later, her campaign issued a statement saying “The BOE’s release of incorrect ranked choice votes is deeply troubling and requires a much more transparent and complete explanation. Every ranked choice and absentee vote must be counted accurately so that all New Yorkers have faith in our democracy and our government.”
Elections officials had planned on conducting another round of ranked choice analysis on July 6 that would include absentee ballots. A note posted on the Board of Elections website indicated it would try posting accurate results without absentee ballots Wednesday.
New York City’s primary went into a state of suspended animation a week ago while officials prepared to give the public its first look at results from the city’s new ranked choice voting system.
Under the system, voters could rank up to five candidates in order of preference.
Since no candidate was the first choice of more than 50% of voters, a computer on Tuesday tabulated ballots in a series of rounds that worked like instant run-offs.
In each round, the candidate in last place was eliminated. Votes cast for that person were then redistributed to the surviving candidates, based on whoever voters put next on their ranking list. That process repeated until only two candidates were left.
Besides Adams and Garcia, civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley was also still within striking distance of victory.
When voting ended June 22, elections officials only released results showing who voters put down as their first choice for the job. In that count, Adams had a lead of around 75,000 votes over Wiley with Garcia close behind in third.
Wiley was critical of the BOE, saying the chaos Tuesday “is not just failure to count votes properly today, it is the result of generations of failures that have gone unaddressed.”
New York City’s Board of Elections, which operates independently from City Hall, has long had a reputation for mistakes and mismanagement.
We are aware there is a discrepancy in the unofficial RCV round by round elimination report. We are working with our RCV technical staff to identify where the discrepancy occurred. We ask the public, elected officials and candidates to have patience.— NYC Board of Elections (@BOENYC) June 29, 2021