NEW YORK — Two months from now, New Yorkers will be confronted with the city’s new ranked choice voting system if they vote early in the June Primaries.
Across the city, even those who have long advocated for ranked choice voting say there is more work to be done in educating the public.
City Councilman Brad Lander, one of the biggest advocates for ranked choice voting, is also running in the first election where it will be used as a comptroller candidate. The comptroller is the city’s chief financial officer.
“The city should be doing more,” Lander said on a Zoom call with advocates and candidates Monday. “All of us candidates and elected officials should be using our platforms to do more.”
The battle every candidate running in the city is fighting is how to explain the potential benefits of the new ballot, which can look like a confusing SAT test.
Here is an example from a special city council race that already used ranked choice:
Convincing voters, who for their whole lives have just picked one candidate, to rank up to five and really maximize the power of their vote, has been difficult at times.
“It takes some conversation, and some back and forth, and education around who some of the other choices are to get them to consider the idea,” said Democratic mayoral candidate Dianne Morales.
Lander is also sponsoring pending city council legislation to make the ranked choice voting process more transparent. He said people should not expect to have election night winners, but have some ideas of where the candidates stand in the ranked by the Friday after Election Day.
It’s unclear if that will be implemented in time for the June primaries.