NYC Officials Withdraw Democratic Mayoral Primary Vote Count; 135,000 Test Ballots Included by Mistake

Count Every Vote (Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty)
Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty

New York City’s Board of Elections withdrew its latest vote count in the Democratic Party primary for mayor Tuesday evening, after 135,000 test ballots were mistakenly included in a tally earlier in the day under the ranked-choice system.

The Associated Press reported:

The Democratic primary for mayor of New York City was thrown into a state of confusion Tuesday when election officials retracted their latest report on the vote count after realizing it had been corrupted by test data never cleared from a computer system.

The bungle was a black mark on New York City’s first major foray into ranked choice voting and seemed to confirm worries that the city’s Board of Elections, which is jointly run by Democrats and Republicans, was unprepared to implement the new system.

That [reported] data had indicated that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former police captain who would be the city’s second Black mayor, had lost much of his lead and was ahead of former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia by fewer than 16,000 votes.

Just before 10:30 p.m. it released a statement saying that 135,000 ballot images it had put into its computer system for testing purposes had never been cleared.

The vote happened last Tuesday, and the final result is still unknown, with 125,000 absentee ballots still uncounted.

Ranked choice voting allows voters to vote for several candidates in order of preference, rather than just choosing one candidate. It also means that candidates who do not win the most first choice votes can still win the most overall votes.

New York City’s mayoral primary was considered the first “big test” of ranked choice in U.S. elections. The system has prominent left-wing backers. It did not apply to the Republican candidates because there were only two of them.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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