NEW YORK — This coming Tuesday, the troubled New York City Board of Elections is set to release another round of results in the race for mayor, a week after botching the release of the first round of results.
On June 29, the BOE released inaccurate results using its new ranked choice voting tabulator; 135,000 test ballots had been left in the ballot tabulation software and got mixed in with real votes.
It left advocates of the new voting system scrambling to pin blame on the board and not on ranked choice.
Susan Lerner, with Rank the Vote NYC, blamed it on a “series of bad decisions and human error.”
“This is what we are dealing with here,” she said.
State officials are now pledging hearings and reform of the Election Board, which is overseen by commissioners hand-picked by party bosses.
However, New Yorkers have heard promises to make changes before, most recently after long lines plagued early voting last November. In the election before that, a primary, tens of thousands of absentee ballots were tossed out.
Meanwhile, the board admitted trust had been broken as they re-ran the results with only real votes.
“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,” the board said in a statement. “We will continue to hold ourselves accountable and apologize to New York City voters for any confusion.”
A corrected tabulation ran on Wednesday. The new numbers showed a tight race in the second to last round of ranked choice voting, where Kathryn Garcia edged out Maya Wiley by a mere 350 votes. Garcia would go on to lose to Eric Adams in the final round by about 15,000 votes.
However, the count still does not factor in 125,000 absentee ballots currently being counted. The tabulation on Tuesday is set to include many of those votes.
With so much confusion, Adams and Garcia have filed lawsuits preserving their right to challenge the results. Wiley is keeping a careful eye on things as well.