The Losers Will Elect the Winners: Elections in the New World of Rank Choice Voting

Polls close at 9 PM in New York State, within minutes of the closing of the polls totals would begin pouring in; a few hours later winners would be declared.  In the world of Rank Choice Voting and absentee ballots we’ll have a long wait: days or weeks. The next step is counting the absentee ballots.

That path to victory starts with absentee ballots. According to the New York City Board of Elections, 86,920 absentee ballots have already been submitted in the Democratic primary, and up to 120,580 more could still be en route (in this election, absentee ballots can count as long as they were postmarked by June 22 and arrive by June 29). And there are a couple reasons to believe that these ballots will help Wiley, and especially Garcia, make up ground.

If no candidate has a majority the transfer of “exhausted” candidate voters begins. The candidate’s votes are transferred to the # 2 choice, and continue until a candidate has a majority.

Early voting and election day ballots:

Adams       31.7%

Wiley          22.3%

Garcia        19.5%

Yang           11.7%

Stringer         5.0%

Morales         2.8%

McGuire        2.3%

Donovan       2.2%

The city’s Board of Elections plans to release the first round of ranked-choice results on Tuesday, June 29, and it will release updated results once a week after that as absentee ballots are counted. More complete results should arrive weekly through the week of July 12.

Adams predicted his lead would result in a victory.  Garcia said. “This is going to be a ranked choice election … This is not just about the ones. It’s going to be about the twos and threes.”

Wiley sounded a similar note — a mix of caution and hope.

“It is simply fact that 50% of the votes are about to be recalculated,” she said

Adams’ lead over Garcia and Wiley could quickly change as soon as absentee ballot votes are counted on July 6, about 15% of the vote total will be absentee ballots.

Who tends to vote by absentee ballot? 

Older voters, White, higher income, more highly educated: who are they more likely to vote for ????

Will McGuire votes transfer to Adams? Donovan to Garcia? Stringer to Wiley/Garcia? Morales to Wiley? Yang to Garcia?

The new mayor will select a chancellor; the current Department leadership will plan the September school opening and how the American Rescue Plan and the additional state funding are allocated.

The new mayor begins her/his term January 1, in the middle of the school year.

Maybe they’ll work collaboratively with current administration; maybe they’ll be sitting outside with their luggage waiting to move in.

In the midst of the election the Mayor and the City Council are in the process of finalizing a budget; of course the Mayor and most of the City Council are term limited and will be gone on December 31st.

There are major decisions:

Will the chancellor offer a remote option?

Will the budget provide for lower class size?

Will the budget fund additional guidance counselors and social workers?

How will the Department address “learning loss”?  Additional testing?  School-based options?

The new mayor will inherit a city in economic crisis,  the highest unemployment rate among large cities, empty offices, a staggering number of empty stores, no tourism, is New York recovering?  What can deBlasio and the mayor-elect do to stimulate growth

The Department and the unions are meeting regularly to plan the next school year, until the city budget is agreed upon key staffing questions are hanging.

The school year is over and school news has been pushed aside by this complex lingering election.

Enjoy the 4th.

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