NYC mayoral primary election

12 min ago

New York voters say that they are pleased with the ranked-choice voting system

Mary Altaffer/AP
Mary Altaffer/AP

New Yorkers are heading to the polls today to cast their ballot in the primary elections for the next NYC mayor and other elected officials. For the first time, the city is using ranked-choice voting, which will give voters an opportunity to pick their top five preferences out of the field of candidates in some races including the mayoral primaries.

CNN’s Polo Sandoval is at a polling place in Brooklyn where he talked to some voters that seem pleased with the new voting system.

Voter Eric Baker told Sandoval that the ranked-choice system is “pretty straightforward.”

“You do your research, it makes sense,” Baker said.

Voter B Stone said, ” I think it’s better than an all-or-nothing candidate.” 

Stone continued: “I think it gives more progressive candidates a chance to win,” adding, “I wish there had been a stronger slate of progressive candidates in this election, but for now we’re at least getting the chance to do it a different way.” 

Remember: The ranked-choice system will mean that we don’t get instant results when polls close later today. The board of elections in New York has told CNN that it might take until July to know the final results.

Voter Catelin Stone said, “I’m okay with waiting.”

“I don’t need instant gratification on a mayor. I almost rather it be vetted and done properly than get the answer tonight.” 

Watch here:

1 hr 10 min ago

Tensions run high among some Democratic mayoral candidates

From CNN’s Gregory Krieg

Getty Images
Getty Images

The contest for the Democratic mayoral nomination, which will almost certainly determine outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s successor, features 13 candidates, but has in recent weeks appeared to come down to four favorites.

Those candidates are: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a retired captain in the New York Police Department; former 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang; Maya Wiley, a civil rights lawyer who served as counsel to de Blasio in his first term; and former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

Although the winner may not be determined for weeks due to ranked-choice voting, tensions have run high among some of these front-runners:

  • Back and forth criticism: Adams and Yang have exchanged fierce criticism throughout their campaigns. Adams first criticized Yang after he revealed he spent much of the pandemic in a second home outside of the city. Later, Yang questioned Adams over whether the Brooklyn Borough president actually lived in the borough he runs. Both controversies underscore the importance of loyalty in a pandemic-leveled city throughout this race.
  • Eleventh hour alliance: In a surprising move, Garcia and Yang campaigned together over the weekend and on Monday. Although Yang called on his supporters to rank Garcia second when voting, Garcia has not backed him in return. Nevertheless, the dynamic applies some pressure to Adams’ campaign.
  • Doubling back: Some supporters of Adams claim the alliance between Yang and Garcia is an attempt to keep a Black or Latino candidate out of City Hall. On Monday morning, Adams appeared on CNN’s New Day, where he denied the alliance was racially motivated – but Adams soon retraced his steps. “I can say this, that African-Americans are very clear on voter suppression,” Adams said. “We know about a poll tax, we know about the fight that we’ve had historically.”
  • Sharp statements: Later that morning, Wiley, who is also Black, released a statement regarding Adams’ comments. “At a time when this country is seeing real voter suppression laws being enacted, using racism charges to undermine confidence in Ranked Choice Voting is cynical, self-interested and dangerous,” Wiley said. Wiley ultimately argued that Yang’s campaigning with Garcia “is not racist and we should not be using this term so loosely against other candidates at the end of a long campaign when New Yorkers are all coming together to make important choices about our collective future.”

Read more about the NYC mayoral race here.

CNN’s Alyssa Kraus contributed reporting to this post.

2 hr 19 min ago

NYC Mayor tells CNN he’s worried about low turnout in today’s primary election

From CNN’s Greg Krieg

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio has refused to reveal who he will be voting for to replace him when he leaves office at the end of the year. But as he walked up to his polling place in Park Slope earlier, he was open about his concerns over turnout in the primary. 

“I think this election has generated so little real, organic energy and obviously Covid has been pulling against it,” de Blasio said. “By any normal measure, you’d think after last year, we’d be in a sort of permanent, high turnout reality, but I fear it’s kind of come down.”

Total turnout projections from the campaigns have tended to range from 750,000 to 1.1 million. De Blasio said that any figure “less than a million would worry me.”

Asked why he suspected the numbers might go down — and who or what was to blame for it, the two-term mayor ticked off a “triad” of potential headwinds.

“The focus on Covid taking up so much of the energy, ranked choice voting creating a certain amount of confusion, and the earlier primary — people really were used to September — I think all of it’s thrown off the rhythm of things,” he said.

New York City typically holds its citywide primaries in September, after Labor Day, but moved its calendar up this year. De Blasio was lukewarm on a successful 2019 ballot measure that put the ranked choice system in place and the city has been criticized by some for not doing enough to educate voters about the intricacies of the new process. 

In his media conferences leading up to today’s election, de Blasio has sounded unimpressed by the candidates and called for them to offer up more compelling pitches to New Yorkers.

“What I heard a lot of was candidates announcing they would do bold new things that actually are things my administration is doing right now,” he said after a recent debate. “What I would say to all these candidates is, brush up on your facts, bring us a more coherent vision.”

De Blasio is widely believed to be supporting Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams — a perception he reinforced on Monday when he questioned the eleventh hour alliance between Andrew Yang and his former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. 

“This one strikes me as an ‘odd couple’ situation and a little more opportunistic,” de Blasio said. “These are two people who don’t seem to share a lot of positions.”

3 hr 25 min ago

Meet the 13 Democrats running in NYC’s mayoral primary

From CNN’s Rachel Janfaza and Gregory Krieg


Thirteen Democrats are running in the New York City mayoral primaries today, according to the New York City Board of Elections

Here’s who will be on the primary ballots for the ranked-choice vote:

  • Eric Adams: A retired former captain in the New York Police Department, Adams is a vocal advocate of the NYPD and is running on a platform that includes stepped-up policing. The former officer has been critical of the department, however, calling out racism in the organization. Adams has been a fixture on the New York political scene for decades — making many friends and enemies along the way – and has argued that he is the candidate best-equipped to fight a surge in violent crime. The former New York state senator is running to be the second Black mayor in New York City history. He has support from a number of major unions and local leaders, including Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
  • Art Chang: The technologist and entrepreneur started 12 small businesses in New York City and co-created an initiative called “NYC Votes” to promote citywide democracy. Chang would like to implement universal child care, help Broadway rebound and revamp government technology. The son of Korean immigrants, he co-founded the City University of New York (CUNY) Technology Apprenticeship Program and served on the New York City Campaign Finance Board as well as the board of directors at the Brooklyn Public Library. Chang would be the city’s first Asian American mayor.
  • Shaun Donovan: A former Obama administration Cabinet member, Donovan served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the housing market crisis of 2008, and later as director of the Office of Management and Budget. He’s running on a platform to build “15-minute neighborhoods,” a plan that seeks to provide New Yorkers with schools, transportation and food within 15 minutes of their homes. Prior to his time in the Obama administration, Donovan was commissioner of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development under former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Donovan has been criticized by his rivals over an independent expenditure group almost entirely funded by his father.
  • Aaron Foldenauer: An attorney who has practiced employment litigation and election law, Foldenauer’s platform seeks to rebuild New York City’s economy with a focus on small business and property owners. Foldenauer hopes to revamp New York City tourism, has a plan for healthy eating and would like to create a texting service for subway riders to report incidents. Foldenauer ran for New York City Council in Lower Manhattan but lost in 2017.
  • Kathryn Garcia: As commissioner of New York City’s Sanitation Department, Garcia oversaw a staff of 10,000 and managed the city’s trash collection, water distribution and snow removal. Running on a platform that centers on New York City’s health and safety, Garcia says she would bring her crisis management skills and experience with local systems to City Hall. Garcia led New York City’s emergency food program at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and served as incident commander during Hurricane Sandy. She was endorsed in May by the New York Times editorial board, which wrote that she “best understands how to get New York back on its feet and has the temperament and the experience to do so.” Garcia, if elected, would be the city’s first female mayor.
  • Raymond McGuire: The former investment banker and Citigroup executive’s campaign centers on fueling an economic rebound. His platform includes a job accelerator to bring back 50,000 jobs in New York City. McGuire, a Black man, says his lived experience qualifies him to enact renewed public safety and justice policy in New York City. Raised by a single mother in Dayton, Ohio, McGuire previously served on the boards of Citi Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Citigroup, and De La Salle Academy, a small private school in New York City. McGuire is not participating in the city’s generous matching funds program.
  • Dianne Morales: As a former nonprofit executive and New York City public school teacher, Morales wants to guarantee housing for New York City residents and desegregate the city’s public schools and has called to “defund the police; fund the people.” A single mother, Morales has worked to help build communities of support for young people, including homeless youth. The Brooklyn-raised daughter of Puerto Rican parents, Morales would be the city’s first Afro-Latina mayor. Her campaign, though, has recently been hobbled by infighting among staff and the departure of her campaign manager. If elected, Morales would be the city’s first female mayor.
  • Paperboy Love Prince: Prince, a nonbinary rapper, wants to give New Yorkers $2,000 a month in universal basic income, proposes three-and-a-half-day work weeks and health care for all, seeks to eradicate homelessness and wants to turn the New York Police Department into a “love team.” Prince ran for Congress in New York’s 7th District last year but lost in the primary to 14-term-incumbent Nydia Velázquez.
  • Scott Stringer: The New York City comptroller’s campaign emphasizes his experience with citywide government. Serving as comptroller since 2013, Stringer is responsible for the Big Apple’s finances and has managed the city’s five public pension funds. Before that, Stringer served as a New York state assemblyman and Manhattan borough president. His platform includes early childhood education and the creation of a “chief health officer” to focus on public health. A graduate of New York City Public Schools and the CUNY system, Stringer got his start in politics as an aide to Jerry Nadler, who was a New York State assembly member at the time. In April, Stringer was accused of sexual harassment by a former political ally. He has denied the allegations, which led some prominent endorsers to withdraw their support. He has retained the backing of a number of high-profile labor unions.
  • Joycelyn Taylor: Taylor, a Brooklyn native who grew up in public housing, is running on a platform to expand affordable public housing and “decriminalize poverty.” As a businesswoman who started a general contracting firm, Taylor built a nonprofit to help provide women- and minority-owned businesses access to opportunity, citywide and state agencies, and elected officials. She also supports the legalization of recreational marijuana. If elected, she would be the city’s first female mayor.
  • Maya Wiley: Wiley, a longtime civil rights attorney and activist, wants to create a “New Deal” for New York that would focus on centering communities of color with a $10 billion investment in infrastructure, stimulus and jobs programs, according to her platform. She is also pushing a “community first” plan to combat climate change and proposing a transformation of the NYPD. Wiley formerly served as counsel to outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio and previously worked with both the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union. She has been endorsed by New York’s Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a member of the House Democratic leadership, and enjoys the support of one of the city’s largest unions. Wiley would be the city’s first female mayor if elected.
  • Isaac Wright Jr.: Wright is running on a platform that centers on working class communities with plans to increase the minimum wage and expand affordable housing with opportunities for homeownership for all New York City residents. After being wrongfully convicted and incarcerated, Wright pursued his law degree and became an attorney. He is also the executive producer of ABC’s “For Life,” a fictionalized TV show based on his life story.
  • Andrew Yang: The lively former presidential candidate has campaigned on a promise to lift the city out of its pandemic haze. He wants to give some low-income New York city residents a basic income, providing those who need it most with direct cash payments of about $2,000 each year. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Yang worked as a lawyer before launching a number of startups focused on health care and education. He is viewed as one of the front-runners in the Democratic primary, despite facing criticism for not having previously voted in a mayoral election and questions over whether he has the experience to take on the job. Yang would, if elected, become the city’s first Asian American mayor.

Read more about the candidates here.

4 hr 5 min ago

How some New York City voters are reacting to casting their first ranked-choice ballots

From CNN’s Alyssa Kraus

CNN’s Athena Jones was live from a New York City polling site, where she talked to about how voters feel about ranked-choice voting, the newly implemented system where voters rank their top five choices in order of preference instead of selecting one candidate. 

Almost three-quarters of New York City voters picked ranked-choice voting for primaries and special elections in a 2019 referendum. Currently, New York City is the largest jurisdiction in the country to use this voting method, Jones reported.

Here’s what some voters had to say:

New York City voter Becky Curtis said she ranked five candidates for mayor, adding that it provided an opportunity to vote for several female candidates. 

“Was it confusing? Well, I don’t think it was confusing. I did have to read and understand what it was all about,” Curtis said. “Do I like it? I’m not sure if I like it or I don’t like it, but it did give me the chance to vote for a lot of women.”

Another voter highlighted the need to prepare the five choices before heading to the polls.

“You had to come prepared knowing what rank you had or you would be there all day,” the voter said. “But once you have a list with you, it is not hard.”

According to Jones, there have been four clear front-runners among voters surveyed on the Upper West Side: Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia, Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang. However, it could be weeks before a candidate is declared the winner

Watch CNN’s reporting from the ground:

4 hr 31 min ago

These are three key issues to look for in this election, according to a former NYC official

A former New York City official said there are three key issues emerging in the city’s mayoral race: Crime, policing and the economy as people start to recover from the pandemic.

Several of the candidates have talked about these issues during their campaign, some even making them central parts of their platforms.

“I think the race is come down to the issue of crime and what people are going to do about it, but also how the police behave when they are fighting crime, Christine Quinn, former NYC City Council speaker, told CNN on Tuesday. “So we see both issues front and center, police abuse also a national issue and crime on the rise which, as you said, is a national issue.”

Homicides in New York are up 53% over the last two years and shootings up by more than 100%. Democrats have told pollsters that crime and public safety are their top concerns by a wide margin.

This gives a boost to candidate Eric Adams, a former state senator who spent 22 years in the New York Police Department before going into politics.

On the other side of the issue, democratic candidate Maya Wiley is calling for sharp cuts to the NYPD budget and the creation of an all-civilian board to oversee the department.

Republican candidate Fernando Mateo says he’s running in part to reduce crime and to combat bureaucracy and high taxes, and the other GOP candidate, Curtis Sliwa, says he wants to “refund the police.”

“I think the third issue is the economy and the post-pandemic comeback and is the comeback going to be more inclusive of people of color and women than the economy in New York was prior to the pandemic,” Quinn said about another prominent campaign point.

Democratic candidate Aaron Foldenauer’s platform seeks to rebuild New York City’s economy with a focus on small business and property owners and former investment banker and Democratic candidate Raymond McGuire is proposing a plan to bring 50,000 jobs in New York City.

Another Democratic candidate, Joycelyn Taylor, said she is running to expand affordable public housing and “decriminalize poverty.” Taylor built a nonprofit to help provide women- and minority-owned businesses access to opportunity, citywide and state agencies and elected officials.

4 hr 58 min ago

When we expect to see NYC primary election winners (it’s not tonight)

From CNN’s Adam Levy and Ethan Cohen

A poll worker hangs up a voting sign during the Primary Election Day at P.S. 81 on June 22, 2021 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn borough in New York City. 
A poll worker hangs up a voting sign during the Primary Election Day at P.S. 81 on June 22, 2021 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn borough in New York City.  Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

For the first time, New York City will be using a ranked-choice voting system for some races. This means it will likely take weeks to have full results of the election.

Here’s a quick breakdown of when we expect to see results:

  • What will we see on Election Night: Currently, the New York City Board of Elections will release the first choices of early and in-person votes on Election Night. This will not include any absentee votes or information on other choices made in ranked-choice contests.
  • What kind of updates do we expect: We expect the board to release the results of all the ranked-choice voting rounds each time they run the calculation. Beware that even though the results released by the board could show what looks like a final round “winner” of the ranked-choice process, there may still be additional ballots to count.   
  • When will we know the winners: We do not have an exact date yet. Assuming it’s needed, the city’s election board plans to run the ranked-choice tabulation process once a week starting June 29 (a week after the election).
  • When are they counting absentee ballots: Absentee ballots will not be included in the June 29 tabulation because New York’s elections law doesn’t allow them to be opened until June 28 to give officials time to ensure there are no duplicate votes. They’ll begin to be included in the board’s tabulation on July 6. Each succeeding tabulation will include absentee ballots that have been validated since the previous run. That will continue until all valid ballots have been included.
5 hr 19 min ago

Here’s how some Democratic mayoral candidates are campaigning this morning 

From CNN’s Alyssa Kraus

Thirteen Democrats are running in the New York City mayoral primaries today. This is the first time voters will pick their nominees using ranked-choice voting, a process where voters rank their top five choices in order of preference instead of choosing just one candidate. This means it could be weeks before a winner is determined. 

Many of the nominees posted on social media this morning, urging residents to vote throughout the day. Polls opened at 6 a.m. ET and will close at 9 p.m. ET tonight. 

Here’s a look at some of the candidates’ tweets:

 Eric Adams:

Shaun Donovan:

Kathryn Garcia:

Maya Wiley: 

Andrew Yang: 

5 hr 42 min ago

These are the NYC races using ranked-choice voting

From CNN’s Adam Levy and Ethan Cohen

People vote during the Primary Election Day at P.S. 81 on June 22, 2021 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn borough in New York City. 
People vote during the Primary Election Day at P.S. 81 on June 22, 2021 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn borough in New York City.  Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

For the first time, New York City voters will be using ranked-choice voting for some nominations (including mayor), a system where instead of selecting one candidate, voters rank their top five choices in order of preference.

Ranked-choice voting, as well as New York’s laws around absentee ballots, means it will likely take weeks to have full results of the election.

So, which position in the primary will be using ranked-choice voting?

Voters will rank their top five choices in order of preference for:

  • Mayor
  • Public advocate
  • Comptroller
  • Borough presidents
  • City council members

Remember: Ranked-choice voting only applies to New York City elections and will not be used in the following contests (note – not all positions listed here are on the ballot this month): president, governor, US senator, surrogate, supreme court, judges, civil court judges, district attorney, congress, state senate, and state assembly.