The Democratic primary for New York City Mayor hit a major bump in the road on Tuesday when election officials withdrew results after learning they had been tampered with by test data that was never deleted from computer systems. The test data consisted of 135,000 ballot images it had put into its computer system to conduct a trial run of the new system.
The error undoubtedly will shake confidence in New York's new rank choice voting concept as New York City’s Board of Elections, which operates independently from City Hall, has long had a reputation for mistakes and mismanagement.
These figures show that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the former police captain who would become the city's second Black mayor, has lost much of his lead and outranked former City Commissioner Catherine Garcia by a slim margin of less than 16,000 votes.
According to a statement from the New York City Board of Elections, “The Board apologizes for the error and has taken immediate measures to ensure the most accurate up to date results are reported,”
Election officials have planned to carry out further analysis of the ranking poll. A notice posted on the Electoral Commission's website indicated it would seek to release accurate results on Wednesday.
According to the system, voters can nominate up to five candidates based on their preferences.
In each round, the candidate finishing last is removed for the next round. The votes cast for that person are then redistributed among the surviving candidates based on which voter places next on their list. This process is repeated until only two candidates remain.
Apart from Adams and Garcia, civil rights attorney Maya Wiley is still alive in the Primary.
The eventual winner of the Democratic Primary is the favorite in the general election against Curtis Sliwa, the Republican founder of the Guardian Angels. Adams or Wiley would be the second black mayor of New York and Garcia or Wiley would be the first female mayor.