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2020 Primary Results Certified by Board of Elections; Show 23% Turnout Among New York City Democrats


voting New York City booths

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 Democratic incumbents toppled by progressive insurgents while the ascendent New York “left,” led by activists and groups including the Working Families Party and New York City branch of the Democratic Socialists of America, also did well in “open” races where there was no incumbent. But several incumbents also held onto their seats amid challenges.

In the only citywide race, the Democratic presidential primary, there were 844,448 votes cast, including 528,976 in-person votes and 315,472 absentee/military ballots; therefore, absentee ballots represented 37.4% of all ballots counted in New York City in that primary, with in-person voting accounting for 62.6%.

Those more than 315,000 absentee ballots were the ones accepted and counted by the Board of Elections, while roughly another 84,000 (84,108 according to The New York Post) were returned by voters but disqualified for a variety of reasons. After Governor Cuomo ordered boards of election to send all eligible voters an absentee ballot application due to the pandemic, about 778,100 New York City voters requested and were sent an absentee ballot, though many thousands were sent late, and voters returned just over 400,000, more than three-quarters of which were counted. 

With 3,617,982 registered Democrats in the city as of this February -- including 1,172,317 in Brooklyn; 837,162 in Queens; 832,312 in Manhattan; 636,791 in the Bronx; and 139,400 on Staten Island -- the 844,448 presidential primary votes represents a turnout rate of 23.3% among New York City Democrats.

By comparison, in the April 2016 New York Democratic presidential primary, 1,007,161 voters in New York City cast ballots, for a turnout rate of 32.8%. That Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton primary was still competitive at the time, unlike this year’s primary, which was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak and, by the time the vote occurred, saw Joe Biden clear the field. On the other hand, this year’s primary included both universal absentee ballot access and a combined primary day for all federal and state races.

By borough this year, for the Democratic presidential primary, absentee ballots accounted for 106,591 (49.4%) of Manhattan’s 215,557 votes’ 35,901 (26.2%) of the Bronx’s 136,890 votes; 95,126 (34.8%) of Brooklyn’s 273,310 votes; 66,982 (34.6%) of Queens’ 193,537 votes; and 10,872 (43.2%) of Staten Island’s 25,154 votes.

Some of the above and below numbers may change, however, because after plaintiffs won a lawsuit against the State Board of Elections in which a judge ordered the counting of thousands of dismissed absentee ballots, the BOE is appealing the decision. Those ballots, disqualified because they were not postmarked by the post office, have not yet been counted.

Here are the certified results in many of the more competitive New York primaries for the House, State Senate, State Assembly, and Queens Borough President - all are Democratic primaries unless otherwise noted:

CONGRESS
NY-6 - Queens
Total votes: 47,127
Grace Meng (incumbent): 30,757 (65.3%)
Melquiades Gagarin: 9,444 (20.0%)
Sandra Choi: 6,756 (14.3%)

NY-9 - Brooklyn
Total votes: 95,911
Yvette Clarke (incumbent): 52,114 (54.3%)
Adam Bunkeddeko: 23,564 (24.6%)
Isiah James: 9,910 (10.3%)
Chaim Deutch: 9,342 (9.7%)
Lutchi Gayot: 839 (0.9%)

NY-10 - Manhattan/Brooklyn
Total Votes: 75,795
Jerry Nadler (incumbent): 51,037 (67.3%)
Lindsey Boylan: 16,495 (21.8%)
Jonathan Herzog: 7,818 (10.3%)

NY-11 - Staten Island (Republican)
Total Votes: 22,839
Nicole Malliotakis: 15,688 (68.7%)
Joseph Caldarera: 7,040 (30.8%)

NY-12 - Manhattan/Queens/Brooklyn
Total Votes: 93,520
Carolyn Maloney (incumbent): 40,176 (43.0%)
Suraj Patel: 36,680 (39.2%)
Lauren Aschcraft: 12,530 (13.4%)
Peter Harrison: 3,938 (4.2%)

NY-13 - Manhattan
Total Votes: 78,154
Adriano Espaillat (incumbent): 46,064 (58.9%)
James Keith: 19,798 (25.3%)
Ramon Rodriguez: 11,858 (15.2%)

NY-15 - Bronx
Total Votes: 59,473
Ritchie Torres: 19,090 (32.1%)
Michael Blake: 10,725 (18.0%)
Ruben Diaz Sr.: 8,559 (14.4%)
Samelys Lopez: 8,272 (13.9%)
Ydanis Rodriguez: 6,291 (10.6%)
Melissa Mark-Viverito: 2,561 (4.3%)
Tomas Ramos: 1,442 (2.4%)
Chivona Newsome: 1,366 (2.3%)
Marlene Tapper: 392 (0.7%)
Julio Pabon: 244 (0.4%)
Frangell Basora: 189 (0.3%)

NY-16 - Bronx/Westchester
Total Votes: 89,139
Jamaal Bowman: 49,367 (55.4%)
Eliot Engel (incumbent): 36,149 (40.6%)
Chris Fink: 1,625 (1.8%)
Sammy Ravelo: 1,139 (1.3%)
Andom Ghebreghiorgis: 761 (0.9%)

STATE SENATE
District 18 - Brooklyn
Total Votes: 33,010
Julia Salazar (incumbent): 28,590 (86.6%)
Andy Marte: 2,627 (8.0%)

District 25 - Brooklyn
Total Votes: 57,398
Jabari Brisport: 32,967 (57.4%)
Tremaine Wright: 20,009 (34.8%)
Jason Salmon: 4,215 (7.3%)

STATE ASSEMBLY
District 31 - Queens
Total Votes: 9,602
Khaleel Anderson: 3,565 (38.1%)
Richard David: 2,770 (28.8%)
Lisa George: 1,819 (18.9%)
Shea Uzoigwe: 690 (7.2%)
Derrick DeFlorimonte: 392 (4.1%)
Tavia Blakley: 342 (3.6%)

District 34 - Queens
Total Votes: 9,893
Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas: 4,087 (41.3%)
Michael DenDekker (incumbent): 2,374 (24.0%)
Joy Chowdhury: 1,457 (14.7%)
Nuala O’Doherty-Naranjo: 1,347 (13.6%)
Angel Cruz: 579 (5.9%)

District 35 - Queens
Total Votes: 7,994
Jeffion Aubry (incumbent): 5,197 (65.0%)
Hiram Monserrate: 2,759 (34.5%)

District 36 - Queens
Total Votes: 16,426
Zohran Mamdani: 8,410 (51.2%)
Aravella Simotas: 7,986 (48.6%)

District 38 - Queens
Total Votes: 7,346
Jenifer Rajkumar: 3,816 (51.9%)
Michael Miller (incumbent): 1,851 (25.2%)
Joseph De Jesus: 1,667 (22.7%)

District 50 - Brooklyn
Total Votes: 18,708
Emily Gallagher: 9,727 (52.0%)
Joe Lentol (incumbent): 8,895 (47.5%)

District 51 - Brooklyn
Total Votes: 10,280
Marcela Mitaynes: 3,591 (34.9%)
Felix Ortiz (incumbent): 3,319 (32.3%)
Katherine Walsh: 2,437 (23.7%)
Genesis Aquino: 933 (9.1%)

District 56 - Brooklyn
Total Votes: 17,954
Stefani Zinerman: 10,171 (56.7%)
Justin Cohen: 7,665 (42.7%)

District 57 - Brooklyn
Total Votes: 27,885
Phara S. Forrest: 15,376 (55.1%)
Walter Mosley (incumbent): 12,464 (44.7%)

District 65 - Manhattan
Total Votes: 13,673
Yuh-Line Niou (incumbent): 8,748 (64.0%)
Grace Lee: 4,875 (35.7%)

District 68 - Manhattan
Total Votes: 12,683
Robert Rodriguez (incumbent): 7,041 (55.5%)
Tamika Mapp: 5,541 (43.7%)

District 73 - Manhattan
Total Votes: 13,148
Dan Quart (incumbent): 8,672 (66.0%)
Cameron Koffman: 4,427 (33.7%%)

District 79 - Bronx
Total Votes: 11,357
Chantel Jackson: 2,944 (25.9%)
Cynthia Cox: 2,599 (22.9%)
George Alvarez: 2,456 (21.6%)
Elvis Santana: 1,536 (13.5%)
Eric Stevenson: 1,383 (12.2%)
Dion Powell: 410 (3.6%)

QUEENS BOROUGH PRESIDENT (special)
Total Votes: 192,919
Donovan Richards: 65,122 (33.8%)
Elizabeth Crowley: 52,502 (27.2%)
Costa Constantinides: 32,823 (17.0%)
Anthony Miranda: 22,717 (11.8%)
Dao Yin: 8,504 (4.4%)

***
by Andrew Millman, Gotham Gazette
   

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