New York City’s first mayoral election using ranked-choice voting is not going well.
The city Board of Elections released an unofficial count of ranked in-person Democratic primary votes on Tuesday, then acknowledged there was a “discrepancy” in the numbers. At 10:30 p.m., the board explained that this “discrepancy” was 135,000 “dummy” ballots that should not have been counted.
The elections board pulled the results and said new results will be available “starting on June 30.”
The first round of ranked-choice tabulation “included both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records,” the Board of Elections said in a statement. “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,” and the results “will be re-tabulated.” The board won’t start counting the 124,000 Democratic absentee ballots until next week.
Eric Adams, the winner of the unranked votes, had flagged the jump in vote totals from election night to Tuesday’s ranked-choice results. After the Board of Elections explained the mistake, he called it “unfortunate” but added that “we appreciate the Board’s transparency and acknowledgment of their error. We look forward to the release of an accurate, updated.”