Gotham Gazette

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ranked-choice voting

ranked-choice voting

  • 2 initial turnout

    New York City voters voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Nearly 1 million New York City voters cast ballots in the mayoral primaries last month, according to unofficial results released by the New York City Board of Elections, marking the city's most participated-in local election in decades. While still low by historical standards, the turnout dwarfed the 2013 primaries -- the last mayoral race to have both Democratic and Republican primaries and no incumbent running -- by roughly 245,000 votes.

    Combined Democratic and

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  • 1 ranked pre tab

    Voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    After a once-in-a-century pandemic, concerns about rising gun crime, debates about usage of our streets, and perennial conflict over integration of our schools and neighborhoods, the 2021 mayoral primary cycle's final day centered less on why we were voting than on the mechanics of how we'd be casting our ballots.

    Watching Kathryn Garcia and Andrew Yang team up to campaign jointly over the home stretch, current vote leader Eric Adams baselessly ...

  • how primary votes

    Voters voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the final vote in the consequential Democratic mayoral primary nears, controversy has erupted around the new ranked-choice voting (RCV) format and the tactics some campaigns are using to wrangle votes.

    Supporters of RCV have said the system forces candidates to seek a broader base of support. But after candidates Kathryn Garcia and Andrew Yang teamed up this past weekend in the hopes of being the second-round pick of each other's supporters, Eric Adams' campaign and its

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  • courage change sosa1

    Chris Sosa, right, is the author (photo: @ChrisSosa)


    The 2021 citywide primary is the first test of ranked-choice voting (RCV), a system I’ve long supported. I fought to ensure RCV wasn’t delayed for this year’s election. Under RCV, negative campaigning has been de-emphasized as candidates compete to

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  • polling sites ps1

    Voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    I moved from Manhattan to Maine in early 2020 to run the Democratic Party’s inaugural voter protection team in the Pine Tree State, trading lox for lobster rolls and the deep blue West Village for a purple battleground. But while Maine still had a Republican senator and had only recently dumped proto-Trump Governor Paul LePage, it did have one major liberal leg up on New York: far more voter-friendly ballot access laws.

    Here in the Empire State, the Constitution bars no-excuse absentee

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  • 2 election votes

    Voting! (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) held a public meeting of its Voter Assistance Advisory Committee (VAAC) last week to discuss the ongoing process of ranked-choice voting outreach and education. The CFB is tasked with those efforts by the recent city Charter change approved by voters in 2019 that is ushering ranked-choice voting into effect for party primary and special elections for city government positions, with the first implementation happening this year. There are several

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  • voting west ele

    Voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Voting is the backbone of our democracy, and should reflect the will of the people. That is the idea behind New York City’s 2019 vote, in which 73% of voters supported a ballot question changing our electoral process from a single choice plurality voting to a new system, known as ranked-choice voting (RCV). Following the lead of cities like Minneapolis and San Francisco, voters decided it was time to change the way we select the leaders in our local government.

    In party primary and

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  • 2 candidates expert

    Voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As New York City implements ranked-choice voting for the first time and prepares for its widespread use this year in special and party primary elections for city government positions, experts and politicians have been weighing in.

    The city’s first ranked-choice election -- a special election in City Council District 24 in Queens -- just wrapped up voting on Tuesday, February 2, and other special elections will take place in the weeks ahead in Queens and the Bronx, voters, candidates,

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  • polling site ps

    Voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    On February 1, Citizens Union hosted an online discussion on the implementation of ranked-choice voting in New York City, which starting this year is being used in party primary and special elections for city government positions.

    Gotham Gazette's Ben Max moderated a discussion among three expert panelists: Audrey Cooper, the editor-in-chief of WNYC who covered ranked-choice voting in San Francisco; Lurie Daniel Favors, the Interim Executive Director at the Center for Law and

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  • 4 guide upcoming city

    Voters voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s first ranked-choice election is underway in Queens. The crowded and competitive special election to replace former City Council Member Rory Lancman, who resigned for a position in the Cuomo administration, saw early voting begin this past Saturday. It will run through January 31, followed by election day on February 2.

    While it is the city’s first election using ranked-choice voting, which took effect this year after being approved by voters in 2019 and only applies

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  • election pres rockaway

    New York City voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, and in some ways in response to them, 2020 proved to be a historic year for voting in New York City, with 3 million ballots cast in the presidential election in November, including a record-breaking 662,314 absentee ballots after the state eased rules on voting by mail, and unprecedented long lines at early voting poll-sites in the first presidential election with the nine-day period implemented in New York.

    Moving into 2021, the

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  • voters kid polls

    Voters having their say (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    While much of the nation is focused on Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the will of the voters in the presidential election through court challenges, delays, and proposed do-overs, a small group of politicians is seeking to do something similar in New York City.

    At the beginning of 2019, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson established a Charter Revision Commission consisting of appointees of the Mayor, the Speaker, the Comptroller, the Public Advocate, and all the Borough Presidents. That Commission voted

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  • voting nyc kids parents

    Voting in New York City (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City, just like the nation, has been teetering at a crossroads. We’ve been utterly battered by the pandemic and ensuing economic depression. And much like the nation, we’ve been saddled with a do-nothing leader who has lionized the NYPD instead of holding them accountable. January 1, 2022 can’t come soon enough. Never has it been more important for every single voice to be heard.

    Fortunately, New Yorkers will have a new way to vote next year which puts power back in the

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  • early voting pres

    Voters at work (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The combination of early voting, vote-by-mail, and the desire to vote out Donald Trump made 2020 a huge year for voting in New York City. Despite long lines, when voters are given the right resources and awareness, we can raise the level of participation.  

    As we turn towards 2021, the next chapter for voting in New York City will be the implementation of ranked-choice voting (RCV) for special and party primary elections for city government positions. If properly implemented, it will

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  • 1 over 200 units

    City Council Member Donovan Richards (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Donovan Richards’ likely ascension to become the next Queens Borough President at the start of 2021 would trigger a special election to replace him in the City Council in the 31st District in Southeast Queens. With several candidates already in the race to replace Richards -- a Democrat who is term-limited out of his current position at the end of 2021 anyway -- and additional potential candidates circling, the likely special election is already shaping up to be one of the most contentious

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    Ranked-choice voting will be implemented for the first time next year (Michael Appleton/Mayor's office)


    The New York State Board of Elections is continuing the process of certifying new voting machines sought by New York City elections administrators to improve the city's early voting system. But, while those machines could help the city take a step toward county-wide early voting centers – which many early voting supporters are pushing for – voting reform advocates say they may not be viable for ranked-choice voting, which will be implemented for the first

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's office)


    The New York City Board of Elections last week delivered a City Charter-mandated report to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council on how it will implement a new voting method, known as ranked-choice voting (RCV), in the 2021 municipal elections, when all of city government will be on the ballot.

    The report, which was submitted June 30 and obtained by Gotham Gazette, shows few procedural and operational changes to casting and counting ballots, possibly indicating a light lift for elections administrators ahead of the

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  • voting in new york city ballot RCV story

    Ranked-choice voting is coming soon (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Board of Elections missed a City Charter-mandated June 1 deadline to issue a report on how it will implement the new voter-approved ranked-choice voting system in 2021, advocates and elected officials said Friday.

    At a press conference hosted by good government group Common Cause New York, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said the report is essential to adequately prepare for the new voting format next

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  • primary voting chi bdb

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Though a new system for holding many city elections was overwhelmingly approved by voters last fall, new details about how ranked-choice voting will actually work continue to emerge.

    Ranked-choice voting, which will apply to only special and primary elections for New York City government positions, allows voters to rank up to five candidates in order of preference. If no candidate hits a majority of votes, a system of vote redistribution based on second and possibly subsequent choices is

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  • eric adams wcbs

    Eric Adams, Susan Lerner, and Alicka Ampry-Samuel, right (photo: @AlickaASamuel41)


    A push is now underway to ensure voters are educated about the new ranked choice voting system New York City will be adopting for some elections starting in 2021, and it is being driven by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a top contender in the mayoral race where the new format will first be tested.

    At a press conference Wednesday in front of New York City Board of Elections headquarters in Lower Manhattan, Adams, along with Brooklyn City Council Member Alicka

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  • voting new york city

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    A year after the 2018 election cycle, when insurgent candidates and heightened political participation helped drive a wave of New Yorkers to the polls, voter turnout in the city this fall continued the trend. While still low as a percentage of registered voters, the 15 percent turnout was far higher than previous off-year elections.

    While many attribute the recent increases in voter participation to a Trump effect, the particulars of this year’s city ballot, including key items not present in the corresponding

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  • first day voting

    Mayor de Blasio & First Lady McCray vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio is dodging questions about his position on a series of ballot referenda that propose changes to city elections and governance. In two interviews Friday and Monday, the mayor avoided giving any specifics when asked repeatedly to discuss the proposed amendments to the city charter, all of which impact city services and administration, and he refused to say how he voted on them.

    The ballot this year has ...

  • council finance dromm johnson mbdblasio fiscal budget

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and other top city officials have remained mostly quiet about their positions on a set of proposed changes to city government and elections, which are set to go before voters when early voting begins on Saturday. The five “yes” or “no” ballot questions include 19 distinct proposals from the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, whose members were appointed by the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, City Council speaker, and five borough

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  • Rachel Bloom and Susan Lerner

    (photo: @Gothamgazette)


    October 23, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Consequential Questions on Your Ballot

    rb sl podcastThere are 5 consequential questions on the New York City ballot this fall, each of which poses changes to city elections or governance for "yes" or "no" reponses from voters. Two leading goverment reform experts -- Susan Lerner of Common Cause NY and Rachel

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  • attends cojo patbudexpoatguild

    (photo: City Council)


    Suppose eight candidates are running for Mayor or a City Council seat or another New York City office. On election night, the results are extremely close: The top candidate gets 29% of the vote, and the second 28%. Even though 70% of voters picked someone else, a candidate with less than one-third of the votes will become the elected representative of 100% of the office’s jurisdiction. 

    This situation may seem unlikely, but it’s precisely what happened in a 2013 special election for New York City

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