Tensions are high as the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) issued a new, accurate mayoral and citywide ranked choice voting (RCV) report yesterday, June 30, after mistakenly putting out an incorrect report the day before, on Tuesday.
The corrected results still have Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams with a narrow lead of 51.1% to former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn A. Garcia’s 48.9% jump.
Activist Maya D. Wiley is still showing an unofficial elimination for this round. Official results will not be known until all absentee and military ballots are counted and preliminary RCV elimination rounds certified in the coming weeks.
Understandably candidates and their respective campaigns as well as voters were outraged by the BOE’s blunder, and, having seen no change between the old and new results, are heavily criticising the BOE’s ability to carry out the voting process.
Frontrunner Adams has gone so far as to file a lawsuit to preserve his “right to a fair election process and to have a judge oversee and review ballots,” he told the Daily News yesterday.
The BOE was similarly maligned during last year’s high stakes presidential primary election when they sent about 100,000 faulty absentee ballots, mostly in Brooklyn’s Kings County, to expectant voters.
After Tuesday’s necessary corrections were posted, the BOE’s commissioners put out yet another joint apology statement to try and placate the city’s ire.
“The June 29th Ranked Choice Voting reporting error was unacceptable and we apologize to the voters and to the campaigns for the confusion,” said President Frederic M. Umane and secretary on behalf of the BOE Commissioners Miguelina Camilo.
“Let us be clear: RCV was not the problem, rather a human error that could have been avoided. We have implemented another layer of review and quality control before publishing information going forward.”
The BOE definitively said that the election night vote counts and RCV data were now accurate, but the certainty didn’t assuage many voters’ and advocacy groups’ cry for more transparency and a smooth RCV process.
“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. We will continue to hold ourselves accountable and apologize to New York City voters for any confusion,” they said.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said that every year voting reforms had languished under the previous Republican majority and now the situation has become a “national embarrassment.”
“In the coming weeks, the Senate will be holding hearings on this situation and will seek to pass reform legislation as a result at the earliest opportunity,” said Stewart-Cousins.
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