For decades, the American Idol and Eurovision TV talent shows have calculated millions of votes during commercial breaks with barely a hitch. But it only took a few hours this week for New York City, the largest city in the US, to demonstrate just how incompetent local election bureaucrats can be.
New York City’s Democratic primary for mayor was thrown into utter chaos on Tuesday after election officials withdrew their initial tabulation of the contest’s ranked-choice voting results, just hours after releasing a tally showing the clear frontrunner ex-cop Eric Adams was in a dramatically tighter race against Kathryn Garcia, the candidate endorsed by the New York Times.
Ranked-choice voting allows voters to list up to five candidates on their ballot in order of preference. The candidate with the least support is eliminated and votes are tallied again until a winner is declared.
Dave Wasserman, an editor of the respected Cook Political Report, says there is no way to minimize the extent of the New York City Board of Elections’s error.
‘The NYC board of elections could have come up with a worse way of rolling out these results but it would have required literally taping them to a pigeon and then letting it go out of a skyscraper for someone to find,’ he tweeted.
No one is alleging the false results were the result of political favoritism, but there certainly will be a political impact. Backers of the losing candidates will scream foul, the new mayor will take office under a cloud and the progressive dream of taking over cities using ranked-choice voting will take a huge hit. We won’t know the final outcome until mid-July when all absentee and provisional ballots are due to be counted.