The Democratic mayoral primary was held in New York City on June 22, and 798,491 in-person votes were cast, according to The New York Times.
The Times’ results showed Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a pro-gun, pro-law enforcement candidate, in the lead with 253,234 votes, or 31.7 percent of the vote.
His nearest competitor was former civil rights attorney Maya Wiley, who received 177,722 votes, or 22.3 percent. Former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia finished a close third, with 155,812 votes (19.5 percent).
For the first time, the city had used an electoral process called ranked choice, which allows voters to select five candidates and to rank them in order of preference. The candidate who receives the lowest number of votes is eliminated and his or her voters’ second choice candidates receive their vote. In this way, a losing candidate’s votes are “redistributed” among the viable candidates.
Every time a candidate is eliminated, a new “round” begins. This process continues until only two candidates remain. The one with the highest total wins the race.
USA Today reported Wednesday that 11 rounds of “vote redistribution” had been conducted over the past week. Additionally, some, but not all, absentee and early voter ballots had been added to the totals.
On Tuesday evening, the New York City Board of Elections released interim results. Adams’ lead had been whittled down to just 16,000 votes, and Garcia had climbed into second place. The two had been apart by 97,422 votes.
Shortly after these results were released, a very alarmed Adams released a statement.
“The vote total just released by the Board of Elections is 100,000-plus more than the total announced on election night, raising serious questions,” he said. “We have asked the Board of Elections to explain such a massive increase and other irregularities before we comment on the Ranked Choice Voting projection.”
Eric Adams’ statement, which goes there pic.twitter.com/xhYORu3Mqy
— Dana Rubinstein (@danarubinstein) June 29, 2021
An hour later, the Board of Elections issued a statement acknowledging it had made an error.
We are aware there is a discrepancy in the unofficial RCV round by round elimination report. We are working with our RCV technical staff to identify where the discrepancy occurred. We ask the public, elected officials and candidates to have patience.
— NYC Board of Elections (@BOENYC) June 29, 2021
Later Tuesday, the board announced that 135,000 test ballots had been erroneously included in the totals. It said it had retracted the erroneous results and would reissue corrected data.
They got caught.
This is egregious fraud.
It’s all coming down. https://t.co/R019poP7Mk
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 30, 2021
Not everyone is buying that this had been a mistake.
First, because this was a primary, the total number of votes was small. As mentioned earlier, fewer than 800,000 votes were cast on the day of the primary. How did board members not notice 135,000 extra votes, which is about 17 percent of the total cast on Election Day?
Some absentee ballots had been added to the totals, but even taking that into account, such a large number of excess votes should have been conspicuous.
Second, the results had changed quite markedly in a week. Adams’ lead over Garcia had fallen by about 83 percent. Moreover, Garcia had climbed into second place.
Each of those changes should have been red flags to board members.
A minor point, but still worth noting, is that the test ballots, which had to have heavily favored Garcia, tipped the board’s hand as to their candidate of choice. It sure wasn’t Eric Adams.
Political commentator Yossi Gestetner also questioned how the board could have missed this error. He noted in a tweet on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump “lost the WH by 43,000 votes spread in 3 states and he is corroding democracy if he has concerns about the integrity of those numbers.”
The NYC Board of Elections counted 135,000 test ballots together with real ballots and released “results” without anyone at BOE noticing.
Trump lost the WH by 43,000 votes spread in 3 states and he is corroding democracy if he has concerns about the integrity of those numbers.
— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) June 30, 2021
When one considers the board’s mistakes in this context, its failure to notice 135,000 extra votes becomes egregious.
The RCV count that the BOE released was the TENTH count. They kept on redoing the count with the test ballots until all but two candidates remained while not noticing that the mistake is there. The numbers were even released as legit! BOE backed off only after a public outcry. pic.twitter.com/jlOEXQcNOk
— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) June 30, 2021
This also makes one wonder how many times “glitches” or “errors” occur during the vote counting that aren’t mistakes at all but intentional attempts to sway an election. How many times do they go undetected?
Were any of them made in the wee hours on Nov. 4, 2020?
If found out, the perpetrator can simply say, “I made a mistake.” If undetected, corruption wins.
According to WNBC-TV, the Board of Elections was expected to report revised interim results on Wednesday, but it did not specify a time.
Hopefully, we’ll get a glimpse of the new numbers soon.
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