LOGIN

What to Expect During Ranked Choice Voting Count in New York City Council Races

by Joshua Brown
8 comments
ranked choice voting

What to Expect During Ranked Choice Voting Count in New York City Council Races

Preliminary results from the ranked choice voting count in the New York City Council primaries will be released by election officials starting on Wednesday. However, it’s important to note that these results may change as additional ballots are tallied in the following days and weeks.

The local primaries concluded last Tuesday, but winners have yet to be determined in certain City Council contests. Some races may advance to ranked choice voting, where subsequent rounds of ballot-counting will take place, considering voters’ second through fifth choices if no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes.

The city is currently in the process of tabulating the first round of results. Unlike other places that use ranked choice voting, the preliminary tabulation of ranked choice results will be released before the initial count is complete. The Board of Elections will continue to provide updated preliminary results on a weekly basis until all outstanding ballots have been counted and the elections are officially certified.

Here is what voters and election observers need to know in the upcoming weeks:

What’s at Stake

The Big Big News has already announced that one primary, the Democratic contest in District 19 in northeast Queens, will be decided by ranked choice voting. In three additional major party races, such as the District 9 Democratic primary in Harlem, where criminal justice reform activist Yusef Salaam holds a significant vote advantage, the leading candidates are close to the 50% mark. These races will require additional ballot tabulation to determine whether the ranked choice voting process will be implemented. Three other City Council primaries are still being counted, but they won’t involve ranked choice voting as they only feature two candidates.

What is Ranked Choice Voting?

Ranked choice voting is designed to produce election winners who have broader support among voters and are seen as more representative compared to traditional multi-candidate elections. In this process, voters with three or more candidates on the ballot have the opportunity to rank the candidates in order of preference. A candidate with a majority of first-choice votes wins the election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the candidate in last place is eliminated, and their votes are redistributed to the remaining candidates based on the voters’ next-highest choices. This process continues until one candidate receives a majority of the vote.

Will Preliminary Ranked Choice Voting Results Determine the Winners?

The preliminary release of ranked choice voting results on Wednesday will indicate which candidates would win their primaries based on the latest vote tally available. This will include the initial ranking of candidates based on first-choice votes received, as well as updated vote totals and rankings once the last-place candidates are eliminated in each round. However, since these results won’t include all the cast ballots, they may not reflect the final winners once all the votes have been counted.

The Board of Elections plans to release at least two rounds of preliminary ranked choice voting results on Wednesday, July 5, and Tuesday, July 11. The results will only become final after all outstanding votes have been counted and the elections are officially certified. The deadline to receive absentee ballots is July 5, and the certification date is expected to be set after July 17, which is also the last day to resolve any remaining ballot issues.

If it’s determined that the trailing candidates have no chance of closing the gap, The Big Big News may declare a winner before the vote is certified. However, if the Associated Press (AP) hasn’t called a race, they will continue to report any noteworthy developments, such as candidate concessions or declarations of victory. It will be made clear in their reporting that the AP has not yet declared a winner and the reasons behind it.

How Might Preliminary Results Differ from the Final Result?

As more outstanding votes are counted, the vote totals for each candidate may change, impacting their overall finishing order and the order of elimination after each round of tabulation. In some races, preliminary results could show a leading candidate with a majority of votes, thus avoiding ranked choice voting. However, in the final results, that candidate may fall below the 50% mark, triggering the need for ranked choice voting.

For example, in the District 9 race, Salaam leads with just over 50% of the vote in the initial results. If Salaam’s vote count falls below 50% once all the votes are counted, ranked choice voting rules would apply. Salaam currently has a substantial 25-point lead over the second-place candidate, giving him a significant advantage even if ranked choice voting is required.

Conversely, a candidate may be slightly below the 50% mark in the initial results, initiating the ranked choice voting process. However, that candidate may end up with a majority of first-choice votes once all the ballots are counted. In the District 13 Republican primary in the Bronx, for example, Kristy Marmorato leads with about 48% in initial results, potentially triggering ranked choice voting. But if the remaining votes push Marmorato above 50%, ranked choice voting would be avoided, and she would win the primary outright.

In the 2021 Democratic mayoral primary, which was the first citywide use of ranked choice voting, there were no differences in candidate rankings, order of elimination, or the ultimate winner between preliminary and final results. Mayor Eric Adams led throughout the process. It’s worth noting that ranked choice voting faced challenges during its debut due to a clerical error at the Board of Elections, leading to the initial release of inaccurate vote results in the highly contested Democratic mayoral primary. However, this error was unrelated to the ranked choice voting process itself and was eventually corrected.

The New York City Board of Elections declined to comment for this story.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ranked choice voting

What is ranked choice voting?

Ranked choice voting is a voting system designed to produce election winners who have broader support among voters. Voters rank candidates in order of preference, and if no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes, the candidate in last place is eliminated and their votes are redistributed to the remaining candidates based on voters’ next-highest choices. This process continues until one candidate receives a majority of the vote.

How do preliminary ranked choice voting results differ from the final results?

Preliminary ranked choice voting results are released before all the ballots have been counted. As more votes are tallied, the rankings and order of elimination for candidates may change. A leading candidate in preliminary results may fall below the 50% mark in the final count, triggering the need for ranked choice voting. Conversely, a candidate hovering just below 50% in preliminary results may end up with a majority of first-choice votes in the final count, avoiding ranked choice voting.

Will preliminary ranked choice voting results determine the winners?

Preliminary ranked choice voting results indicate which candidates would win their primaries based on the latest available vote tally. However, since these results don’t include all the ballots, they may not reflect the final winners. The results become final only after all outstanding votes have been counted and the elections are officially certified.

What happens if a trailing candidate can’t close the gap in ranked choice voting?

If it’s determined that a trailing candidate has no chance of closing the gap, The Big Big News may declare a winner before the vote is certified. However, if the Associated Press (AP) hasn’t called a race, they will continue to report any newsworthy developments, such as candidate concessions or declarations of victory. The AP will clearly state that a winner hasn’t been declared and explain why.

What races in the New York City Council involve ranked choice voting?

The Democratic contest in District 19 in northeast Queens has been declared as a primary that will be decided by ranked choice voting. Additionally, several major party races, including the District 9 Democratic primary in Harlem, are close to the 50% mark and may require ranked choice voting once additional ballots are tabulated. Other City Council primaries with only two candidates won’t involve ranked choice voting.

When will the final results of the ranked choice voting count be available?

The Board of Elections will release at least two rounds of preliminary ranked choice voting results on July 5 and July 11. However, the results won’t be final until all outstanding votes have been counted and the elections are officially certified. The certification date is expected to be set after July 17, which is the last day to resolve any remaining ballot issues.

More about ranked choice voting

You may also like

8 comments

John Smith July 5, 2023 - 8:57 am

ranked choice voting seems like a complicated process but it’s supposed 2 give us better outcomes. preliminary results may not tell us the final winners, so we gotta b patient. can’t wait 2 c who wins the City Council races! #excited

Reply
Emily Johnson July 5, 2023 - 9:37 pm

so, if a candidate falls below 50% in the final count, they go 2 the next round of ranked choice voting? sounds interesting. it’s like a second chance 4 other candidates. hope the results reflect the voters’ choices. #fairness

Reply
David Thompson July 6, 2023 - 3:32 am

I heard about that mistake in the mayoral primary last year. it’s good 2 know it wasn’t because of ranked choice voting itself. mistakes happen, but let’s hope they get it right this time. fingers crossed! #accuratecount

Reply
Jane Doe July 6, 2023 - 4:09 am

hey, it’s gr8 that they’re using ranked choice voting in NYC! it’s a way 2 make sure the winners have more support from the voters. but the results could change, so gotta wait 4 the final count. #democracy

Reply
Jane Doe July 6, 2023 - 3:25 pm

hey, it’s gr8 that they’re using ranked choice voting in NYC! it’s a way 2 make sure the winners have more support from the voters. but the results could change, so gotta wait 4 the final count. #democracy

Reply
John Smith July 6, 2023 - 6:02 pm

ranked choice voting seems like a complicated process but it’s supposed 2 give us better outcomes. preliminary results may not tell us the final winners, so we gotta b patient. can’t wait 2 c who wins the City Council races! #excited

Reply
David Thompson July 6, 2023 - 9:25 pm

I heard about that mistake in the mayoral primary last year. it’s good 2 know it wasn’t because of ranked choice voting itself. mistakes happen, but let’s hope they get it right this time. fingers crossed! #accuratecount

Reply
Emily Johnson July 7, 2023 - 12:38 pm

so, if a candidate falls below 50% in the final count, they go 2 the next round of ranked choice voting? sounds interesting. it’s like a second chance 4 other candidates. hope the results reflect the voters’ choices. #fairness

Reply

Leave a Comment

logo-site-white

BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News

en_USEnglish