Debunking primary day myths: What to know about voting in NYC

New York Elections

Debunking primary day myths

New York City’s mayoral primary on Tuesday will be the first time that the city will use the ranked choice voting method to cast votes for their local office. 

Voters from all over the city will be able to rank up to five candidates for mayor in order of preference instead of choosing just one. Here’s what you should know about voting in NYC ahead of primary day. 

Do I have to rank all of the candidates on the ballot?

No. You cannot rank all of the candidates on the ballot. In ranked choice voting, voters can rank up to five candidates, but you do not need to rank a total of five. However, if you rank under five candidates, you’re more likely to have your vote not count. If a candidate wins 50% of first-preference votes, he or she will be declared the winner. But, if no candidates win an outright majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated.

What would invalidate my ballot?

It’s very easy to spoil a ballot in a ranked choice vote. For instance, listing multiple candidates as your first choice or ranking a candidate more than once is a way to invalidate your ballot. You’re only allowed to choose one candidate for each ranking. If you choose more than one candidate as your first choice, then your ballot will not be valid.

Which NYC elections will require ranked choice voting?

New York City will use ranked choice voting in primary and special elections for local offices such as mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president and city council. Ranked choice voting will not apply to the Manhattan district attorney race. (Source:

Should we expect to know the Democratic and Republican candidates for mayor on primary day, June 22?

No. An official winner is unlikely to be named during primary night. However, voters can expect to know which of the candidates is in the lead among ballots cast in-person. Election officials must wait for absentee ballots to arrive in order to count those as well. This process could take weeks for election officials to get all the votes in.

Do I need to be enrolled in a political party in order to vote?

You do not need to enroll in a political party to vote in November’s general elections. However, you must be registered as a member of a political party to vote in that party’s primary election and help decide who will be that party’s candidate for the general election. (Source: nyccfb)

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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