Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Voter turnout

Voter turnout

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


    Approximately 23% of registered voters turned out for the 2021 New York City general election. This appallingly low number actually understates the extent of the challenge to political legitimacy because the outcome of all but a few races for City Council and Borough President were determined in the Democratic primary in June. In that election, approximately 25% of registered voters cast a ballot.

    Since registered Democrats constitute roughly 70% of all registered

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


    With the New York City general election results certified Tuesday, Democratic Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ tally finished at 754,000 votes, leaving him with close to 66% of the vote-share compared to Republican Curtis Sliwa’s 27%, or 312,000 total votes.

    In total, the New York City Board of Elections counted the ballots of about 1,150,000 New Yorkers, bringing the turnout rate to 20.5% of the 5.6 million registered voters across the five boroughs. That included 85,000 absentee voters and 7,000

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    A Hispanic heritage celebration at City Hall (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    On this episode of the Latino Vote podcast from Gotham Gazette and hosted by Eli Valentin, the topic is legislative redistricting and Latino representation, and the guests are Lucia Gomez, Political Director at the NYC Central Labor Council; Dr. Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Director of Public Policy and Media Relations at the Centro for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College; and Frederick Velez Burgos, National Director of Civic Engagement at the Hispanic

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


    Voter turnout in the 2021 New York City general election was slightly lower than the already-depressed 2017 and 2013 elections.

    Every four years, all of city government is on the ballot, including Mayor, other citywide offices, borough president positions, and the entire 51-seat City Council. This election was the first time since 2013 that most of those positions, including Mayor, were open due to term limits.

    This year, just under 20% of the 5.6 million registered New York City voters cast

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  • Gotham Gazette New York City Latinos and the 2021 Democratic Primary: A Closer Look

    Voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Four years ago I participated in a forum on the theme of Latino politics and voting participation in New York hosted by the Rev. Ray Rivera of the Latino Pastoral Action Center in the Bronx. The forum was based largely on two columns I had recently written here at Gotham Gazette — “Latinos and the 2017 New York City Elections”and ...

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    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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    Student voter registration (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office))


    As New York City heads into the final stretch of the 2021 local primary elections, candidates will be working overtime for votes. If history serves as a guide, turnout will be low. While so much effort goes into registering people to vote and getting them to the polls, we should focus more on indirect measures that can have larger impacts. This includes shifting the local election

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    Dominican Day Parade (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    In the coming months, leading up to the all-important June New York City primary elections, I will be writing a series of columns for Gotham Gazette exploring how the Latino vote can impact City Council races across the city. The series — Latino Vote ‘21 — will also highlight some opportunities that may increase Latino political representation and will at times touch on citywide or boroughwide races.

    This series is, I believe, the first of its kind in a publication like Gotham

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    Voters in 2020 (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Despite concerns about how the coronavirus pandemic may affect voter turnout, more than 2.97 million New York City voters cast a ballot in the 2020 general election, an increase of about 7.5% or 210,000 more votes than were cast in the city in the last presidential election, in 2016.

    By election night, more than 2.25 million New York City residents had voted in person, 1.1 million of whom cast a ballot in the nine days of early voting before Election Day. As expected, absentee voting

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    Voters at the polls (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    UPDATE as of November 15: Voter Turnout in New York City Jumped 7.5% from 2016 to 2020

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    Original article from November 3:

    While final results and tallies are still unknown, it appears that the 2020 election has seen an increase in voter turnout in New York, as it has across the

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    Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, left, & Rep. Max Rose face off in NY-11


    Voting in the 2020 general election is set to come to a conclusion on Tuesday, November 3, Election Day. The full, official results won't be known for weeks.

    The eyes of the world are on the presidential race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, and it's unclear when a winner may be declared.

    Though it's unlikely Trump can pull off an upset and beat Biden in New York, voters here have been going to the polls in large numbers, just

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    Early voting at a poll site can be a breeze (photo: @BOENYC)


    As election administrators across the state prepare themselves for a second, larger wave of mass absentee voting this fall, officials and voting advocates are encouraging as many voters as possible to take advantage of the state's in-person early voting option as an alternative to crowded Election Day poll sites and the uncertainty of casting a ballot by mail.

    Early voting, first launched statewide in 2019, will be offered this fall from October 24 through November 1 and gives all

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    Voter registration (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A bill that would have made it possible for many thousands of New York City residents to register to vote online, which passed the State Senate but stalled in the Assembly earlier this year, is unlikely to pass before the general election registration deadline and would be too late to be implemented even if it did, officials say.

    The legislation, first introduced in the summer of 2019, would allow the New York City Campaign Finance Board to open the online voter registration portal it created

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    Voters cast many absentee ballots (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Over a month after the June primary, the New York State Board of Elections has certified the results, which show a relatively large voter turnout aided in part by the pandemic-induced expansion of absentee balloting. Almost all of the primaries in New York City were among Democrats, including a number of hotly-contested races for the House of Representatives, both houses of the State Legislature, Queens Borough President, and more.

    The elections saw several

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    Vote Here / Vote Aqui (photo: governor's office)


    This series on voter engagement in New York City is supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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    Voting was again challenging in New York City (photo: Edwin J Torres/Mayor's Office)


    When Imani Clenance didn’t receive her absentee ballot to vote in the recent June primaries she, like many others, went to vote in person. But at her polling site in Harlem, she realized that her struggle to vote had only just started.

    After being given her ballot, she only received one page with Democratic presidential primary candidates on it, but no mention of the Congressional race in her district, District 13, that she knew from the Board of

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    The absentee vote could trump the in-person vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Board of Elections is reporting that over 765,000 absentee ballots were distributed to voters before primary day, June 23, vastly exceeding a tally of in-person votes in the Democratic presidential primary, which came to 471,000, with 96% of election precincts reporting.

    The number of absentee ballots returned is not

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    Ritchie Torres looks at Ruben Díaz Sr. (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    This story, and the series it is a part of, has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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    New York City has had very limited success in the voter turnout department for congressional elections in recent years. For the 2018

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    Jamaal Bowman's congressional campaign attempts to capture some 2018 magic (photo: Bowman campaign)


    This story, and the series it is a part of, has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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    After a massive wave of voters shook New York’s 2018 primary elections and subsequent state government, this year’s primary

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    Alessandra Biaggi on the 2018 campaign trail (photo: @Biaggi4NY)


    This story, and the series it is a part of, has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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    On the night of September 13, 2018, a wave crashed through New York state politics.

    For years, pressure had been mounting on the members of the Independent

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    Voters will have greater access to interpreters at the polls this fall (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The still-new New York City Civic Engagement Commission is set to launch a poll-site language assistance program for the fall general election, expanding on the limited interpretation services that are currently provided by the Board of Elections. 

    As required by the Voting Rights Act, the Board of Elections only provides interpreters to assist at poll sites in Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Bengali. But New York City residents speak more

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    Voters in New York City don't vote very much (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York has, in recent years, become known for low voter turnout, and while the arithmetic of getting voters to the polls has always been foggy, new findings shed light on both the details of the city's turnout problem and factors that impact which potential voters actually cast a ballot.

    Late last week, the New York City Campaign Finance Board released its latest Voter Analysis Report, an annual

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     A new report looks at coronavirus and voter turnout correlations (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Neighborhoods with historically low voter participation are among the areas hit hardest by the novel coronavirus, according to a new analysis by the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB), a factor that threatens to compound the crisis' fallout in low-income communities of color.

    Four of the five zip codes with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection out of

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    Next potential steps for voting in New York (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The following is an excerpt from the 2019-20 NYC Votes Voter Analysis Report

    Novel and frightening barriers to voting have the potential to upend the entire crucial 2020 election year in every state. The challenges of in-person voting during a pandemic are clear and significant. Elections traditionally provide a time for citizens to gather together in

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    Coronavirus complicates voter registration efforts & voting itself (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    A bill before the state Legislature expanding online voter registration in New York City has taken on particular urgency amid the coronavirus pandemic, its sponsors say, as in-person voter registration drives become impossible and New Yorkers are told to avoid leaving their homes but for essentials and emergencies.

    The New York City Board of Elections currently only allows an individual to register to vote online through the Department of

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