New York City’s Democratic Mayoral Primary has devolved into chaos after roughly 135,000 test ballots were accidentally included in the official vote tally. Prior to the election, many voters already had concerns about the practicality of ranked choice voting (RCV) being used for the first time in NYC. Frontrunner Eric Adams, a Republican turned Democrat and former Police Chief, enjoyed a 10-point lead over runner up Maya Wiley, a proponent of reducing the NYPD’s budget. Yesterday’s tabulation however showed an additional 140,000 votes counted since the June 22nd primary, and Adams lead fell to just 2-points as Kathryn Garcia, former Sanitation Department Commissioner, moved into second place. This prompted him to complain of count discrepancies, though despite the concerns the Brooklyn native later on declared victory. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang fell into fourth place and later conceded the race.
The Board of Elections (BOE) shortly after acknowledged the counting errors and issued this statement, “The Board apologizes for the error and has taken immediate measures to ensure the most accurate up to date results are reported.” The BOE later said they would remove images of test ballots from their software and re-tabulate all RCV rounds. Along with Adams, Garcia and Wiley both sounded off on the BOE’s failure to properly count votes stating that NYC voters will be significantly less confident in their election system moving forward. Final Democratic primary results will likely not be announced until mid-July. Regardless, the winner will be a heavy favorite to win against presumptive Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels.