New York City’s troubled Board of Elections will publish more results of city-wide council and mayoral races on Tuesday, a week after a counting error drew strong criticism for flawed results.
On June 29, the BOE published the first round of ranked-choice results on its website, which indicated that frontrunner Eric Adam’s lead would shrink substantially in favor of second-place candidate Kathryn Garcia. Abruptly, the results were yanked offline a few hours later, and it was revealed the BOE had accidentally counted up to 135,000 test ballots with the real ballots, Pix 11 reported.
The public was confused, officials were scrambling, and candidates were scathing in their criticisms of the troubled board.
The “mistake by the Board of Elections was unfortunate. It is critical that New Yorkers are confident in their electoral system, especially as we rank votes in a citywide election for the first time,” Adams said in a statement.”
Garcia’s campaign said in a statement, “New Yorkers want free and fair elections, which is why we overwhelmingly voted to enact ranked choice voting. 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.”
The board later released an accurate estimated count on Wednesday, which indicated that Adams would eke out a win over Garcia by 15,000 votes, while Garcia would beat third-place candidate Maya Wiley by 350 votes.
That count did not reflect the roughly 125,000 absentee ballots that have yet to be counted. The count on Tuesday, July 6, will reflect the absentee ballots, which may give Garcia an edge over Adams.
The BOE commissioners are hand-picked by powerful people in local parties, and has long been plagued with accusations of ineptitude and sloppy performance. In the 2020 election, voters waited in lines for hours at polling stations.
“As we continue to count absentee ballots and run further RCV tabulations, we will do so with a heightened sense that we must regain the trust of New Yorkers,” the board said in a statement. “We will continue to hold ourselves accountable and apologize to New York City voters for any confusion.”