NYC’s Craptastic Mayoral Ranked-Ballot Democrat Primary Accidentally Counted 135K Test Ballots

Written by K. Walker on June 30, 2021

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The Primary that will likely decide New York’s next Mayor descended into chaos as the Board of Elections announced that there was an error in the tabulations and they’ve got to start the whole thing over.

New York’s elections officials announced that the results of a count of 135,000 “test” ballots had been left in the machines and had been added to the first round of counting. It’s unclear how this will affect the race because the Democrat primary uses a confusing ranked-ballot system where voters select up to five candidates in order of preference and then allocates the votes. The person who receives more than 50% of the vote is declared the winner.

The City reported in May that the City Board of Elections didn’t have the software certified to count the ranked ballots just weeks before the primary. Some New Yorkers found the entire “ranked-choice” process confusing.

It turns out that the main problem with the shiny, new ranked choice primary was with the Board of Elections.

The too-close-to-call Democratic primary race that will likely decide New York’s next mayor was thrown into disarray after election officials admitted they accidentally included “test” results in the vote count, leading to 135,000 extra ballots.

The botching of the city’s first ranked-choice election was first flagged by front-runner Eric Adams, who pointed out that preliminary results from the Board of Elections showed that 941,832 votes were cast for the Democratic mayoral nomination, a huge increase from the 799,827 that were counted on primary day last week…

…Tuesday’s unofficial results, after a total of 11 rounds of ranked-choice counting, had Adams narrowly leading former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia by 368,898 votes to 352,990 or 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent, with Maya Wiley and 10 other candidates eliminated.

Source: New York Post

Well, gee, that seems pretty strange. Of course, any claim that an election might not be the most secure is going to be treated as a “conspiracy theory” and an “attack on democracy” or perhaps “Russian propaganda,” right?

The frontrunner, former NYPD Chief, Eric Adams sounded the alarm and raised questions about it when his lead started to dwindle and his opponent, former Department of Sanitation Commissioner, Kathryn Garcia was hot on his heels.

Adams issued a statement that read, “The vote total just released by the Board of Elections is 100,000-plus more than the total announced on election night, raising serious questions. We have asked the Board of Elections to explain such a massive increase and other irregularities before we comment on the Ranked Choice Voting projection. We remain confident that Eric Adams will be the next mayor of New York because he put together a historic five-borough working class coalition of New Yorkers to make our city a safer, fairer, more affordable place.”

Adams “went there” according to NYTimes journo, Dana Rubenstein.

Except…it turns out that Adams was right, as the Board of Elections admitted in their statement. The mistake was made in the first round of counting and they have to go right back to the drawing board.

“The Board of Elections conducts rigorous and mandatory pre-qualification testing for every election. It has been determined that ballot images used for testing were not cleared from the Election Management System (EMS).

“EMS produces Cast Vote Records (CVR) from ballot images. RCV software uses the CVR to produce unofficial results. 

“When the cast vote records were extracted for the first pull of RCV results, it included both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records.

“Board staff has removed all test ballot images from the system and will upload election night results, cross-referencing against election night reporting software for verification. The cast vote record will be re-generated and the RCV rounds will be re-tabulated.

“The Board apologizes for the error and has taken immediate measures to ensure the most accurate and up to date results are reported.”

Many of those test votes were handed to candidates who’ve since quit the race, although Eric Adams also received a large number of them, The New York Times reported.

It is unclear how removing the test votes will change the gap in the race between Adams and Garcia, with the ranked choice process further complicating the ultimate count.

There has so-far been no suggestion that the primary vote will have to be held again.

The ranked-choice numbers, it said, would be tabulated again.

They said on Tuesday afternoon that 941,832 votes have been tallied and 124,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted.

The first absentee ballots results are not expected to be tallied until July 6.
Source: Daily Mail

Adams issued another statement that read, “Today’s 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. We appreciate the Board’s transparency and acknowledgement of their error. We look forward to the release of an accurate, updated simulation, and the timely conclusion of this critical process.”

Garcia did the same.

“New Yorkers want free and fair elections, which is why we overwhelmingly voted to enact ranked choice voting. The Board of Elections’ release of incorrect ranked choice votes is deeply troubling and requires a much more transparent and complete explanation. Every ranked choice sand absentee vote must be counted accurately so that all New Yorkers have faith in our democracy and our government. I am confident that every candidate will accept the final results and support whomever the voters have elected.”

Far-left, AOC-backed candidate, Maya Wiley, also issued a statement after she was knocked to third place. Her statement was far less conciliatory than the ones by Adams and Garcia.

“This error by the Board of Elections is not just failure to count votes properly today, it is the result of generations of failures that have gone unaddressed. Sadly it is impossible to be surprised. Last summer BOE mishandled tens of thousands of mail in ballots during the June 2020 primary. It has also been prone to complaints of patronage. Today, we have once again seen the mismanagement that has resulted in a lack of confidence in results, not because there is a flaw in our election laws, but because those who implement it have failed too many times. 

“The BOE must now count the remainder of the votes transparently and ensure the integrity of the process moving forward. New Yorkers deserve it.”

Wiley is right.

This isn’t the first time that New York’s Board of Elections has screwed up royally. Back in September 2020, there were multiple problems with absentee ballots including a confusing typo, ballot requests unfulfilled, and the wrong ballots sent to people.

Here’s just one example:

ClashDaily covered that more thoroughly here:

New Yorkers FURIOUS As Bungled Ballots Arrive Due To ‘Vendor Error’ — Here’s The 411

Still, you’ve gotta love it when Democrats see how election counts can indeed be inaccurate.

So, why should you care about who leads NYC and why their Democrat primary is a sh!tshow? Because this kind of “ranked ballot” bullcrap is something that progressives are pushing for in primaries all over the place. And it almost always ends with the establishment/squishy/left-friendly candidate winning. That happened twice in Canada when the Conservative Party elected its last two leaders.

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) weighed in about ranked voting itself, and… he’s so right about this.

The winner of this gong show Democrat primary will face off against Republican Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels.

With New York in its current crime wave, that should be interesting.

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker