Vote Counting Error Overshadows New York Mayoral Race

New York Democratic voters continued to feel anxious Thursday. A large number of errors in the vote count for Tuesday’s New York City mayoral primary election have called into question the city’s election process.

The New York City Board of Elections first released results showing candidate Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, with a large lead, but the results included 135,000 test ballots.

The commission quickly removed that tally and released the results on Wednesday, showing Adams with a significantly narrower lead over former Health Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

With 125,000 absentee ballots still to be counted, final election results may not be announced until several weeks from now.

This is the first time New York City has used preferential ranked-choice voting, in which candidates must win more than half of the votes cast to win in the first round. Voters ranked the five candidates. Candidates with the fewest votes are excluded and their votes are divided among the remaining candidates based on their ranking until a candidate is declared the winner with more than half of the votes cast.

In a statement, Election Commission President Frederic Umane and Election Commission Secretary Miguelina Camilo said, “Yesterday’s misreporting of ranked votes is unacceptable and we apologize to voters and campaign camps for the resulting confusion,” “Let’s be clear that (preferential ranking voting) is not the issue, the issue is a human error that could have been avoided. We have put in place another layer of deliberation and quality control before we can release information in the future.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the city’s election system “broken,” and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the New York City Board of Elections “is no better than a mob that can’t shoot a gun. “.

The Associated Press reports that the latest problems in New York City elections are just another in a long list of failures, including the erroneous removal of names from voter registration rolls, long lines at polling stations and malfunctioning voting equipment.

“This is blunder after blunder after blunder,” New York City Councilwoman Nily Rozic told the AP, adding that “no other government entity could possibly have such a poor track record and yet be absolutely unaccountable.”