What is New York’s new voting system?

There is little more than a month to go before New Yorkers go to the polls again, with the primary elections on June 22, where, among other public offices, voters will choose candidates for Mayor, City Council, presidencies of county, positions in the prosecutor’s offices, the Ombudsman’s Office and the City Comptroller’s Office that will go to the general elections in November.

For these elections, New York will begin to implement a so-called ranked-choice voting system, a format where the first-place candidate after basic vote counting will no longer automatically win, as used to be the case before, no matter what. the vast majority will not support it.

What is sought is that the candidate who wins has more than 50% of the support of the electorate. This new system was approved by 73.5% of New York City voters, who in a 2019 consultation voted affirmatively to begin implementing voting by ranking in order of preference, to ensure that the voice of the city is effective. most.

Through the new system, what voters will be able to do now is that when they go to the polls, they will place the preferred candidates on the ballot in order, from 1 to 5, according to their preference. It should be noted that if voters only wish to point to the candidate of their full preference, without giving a ranking to the others, they can do so without problem.

This is explained by the New York Board of Elections, which warned that voters will be able to mark their favorite candidates by ranking as many as they want between 1 and 5.

“You must choose a candidate for each column (columns from first to fifth place). First option: choose your favorite candidate. Second option: Complete the second column, followed by your third, fourth and fifth election options ”, assured the Electoral Board, detailing the process, which although new is not complicated.

The new system in details

You can rank up to 5 candidates in order of preference: your first-choice candidate, your second-choice candidate, and so on down to your fifth-choice candidate. It is not mandatory to mark 5 candidates. If you only want to vote for yours in the first option and not rank the others, it is your right. If you have a second-choice candidate, you will select them from the “Option 2” list. You can only choose one candidate for each option or “Choice” and remember that you cannot select the same candidate from Option 1 for the other “Choice” options.

How to mark your electoral vote?

How does this system benefit voters?

The Voting System by Order of Preference allows your vote to be more decisive. Even if the candidate you chose as the first choice does not win, you can help choose the winner. More civility and fewer dirty campaigns. Even if you do not vote for someone as the primary candidate, that candidate may need your vote as a second, third, fourth or fifth option. This system makes candidates try to attract the largest number of voters. Election winners are often more diverse and representative. Cities that implemented the Order of Preference Voting System have elected more women in general and more women of color in particular. Therefore, elected public officials are more representative of their communities.

Please note that for the June 22 primaries, early voting will begin on June 12 and run through June 20.

If you want to know more about the new election system, you can visit the page, or, if you want the information in Spanish.

(Source: New York City Campaign Finance Board)

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