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Absentee ballots in NYC mayoral primary to be released Tuesday

It’s almost over — maybe!

The Board of Elections is set to reveal the tallies of nearly 126,000 absentee ballots in the Big Apple’s hotly competitive Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday, potentially reshaping the race again.

The fresh batch of results will come less than a week after the initial tallies of the second-through-fifth choice votes in the June 22 contest dramatically narrowed Eric Adams’ lead over former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

The Brooklyn borough president had a slim lead over Garcia — who was catapulted into second place — by fewer than 15,000 votes.

Garcia, meanwhile, edged out Maya Wiley by fewer than 400 votes to face off against Adams in the final round of the city’s instant runoff under its new ranked-choice voting system.

New York City mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia
New York City mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia was catapulted into second place by fewer than 15,000 votes.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Election officials only included the ballots cast on primary day and during early voting in the initial run of the rank-choice system.

That means the outcomes could shift significantly Tuesday when the computation is rerun with the bulk of the absentee vote incorporated into the system for the first time.

BOE officials declined to say Monday when the latest round of results will be posted on Tuesday.

Maya Wiley
Kathryn Garcia edged out Maya Wiley by fewer than 400 votes.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Under New York election law, the BOE could only begin opening absentee ballot envelopes on June 28 — and the ballots had until June 29 to make it through the mail to BOE offices, provided they were postmarked by primary day.

Tuesday’s tally will not include absentee ballots that been challenged or tentatively disqualified. State law requires the BOE to contact voters if a technical or clerical issue is found with their ballot and give them an opportunity to correct the error.

Final results are expected by July 12.

Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President speaks during Martin Luther King celebration at NAN headquarters
The fresh batch of results will come less than a week after the initial tallies.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The 125,794 returned absentee ballots are the last major uncounted block of votes remaining in the contest — and little is known about them other than where the voters who cast them live.

A CUNY analysis provided to The Post of the 120,000 absentee ballots returned as of June 27 — shortly before the cutoff — revealed that 55,000 came from Assembly districts where Adams carried the initial first choice vote.

Districts won by Garcia returned 39,000 absentee ballots, while districts that backed Wiley in the first choice vote tally mailed back just 17,000 votes.

New York City mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia speaks during a press conference on June 10, 2021
The outcomes could shift significantly Tuesday.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

This will be the patronage-laden BOE’s third run of the new rank-choice voting system in recent days — including the debacle last week after staffers forgot to clear the system of test ballots before inputting the votes cast in the election.

That error made the famously dysfunctional agency the butt of jokes across the country and renewed the years-long campaign by good government groups to wrestle the BOE away from the control of the local Democratic and Republican parties, who have unquestioned authority over the agency under the state’s constitution.

“We’ve seen some pretty bad errors before, but this one seems to be a national embarrassment,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams told reporters last week. “Hopefully, the national nature of this will finally spur some change.”

New York City mayoral candidate Maya Wiley
Final results are expected by July 12.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

It’s the latest in a litany high-profile of screw-ups by the BOE, which have marred at least four major elections in New York City since 2016:

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