CIANA Explains: The NYC Primary Elections

The NYC Primary Elections are set to take place on June 22, 2021. Currently up for election are the roles of mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president, and various city council positions, as well as a Democratic Party primary race for district attorney.

CIANA is encouraging all registered NYC voters to use their voice by finding their local poll site and getting out to vote for the future leaders of our city. In-person early voting at poll sites takes place from June 12th to June 20th, and absentee ballots can be requested until June 15th. On Election Day, June 22nd, poll sites will be open for in-person voting and absentee ballot drop off. Voters should make sure to check the hours their local polling sites will be open, as hours can vary by location.

There are also few new things in this election which are particularly important to pay attention to. First, the recently implemented Ranked Choice Voting system. This system of voting was approved in 2019, and designed to give voters more of a voice over the entire election and candidate pool. Second, there are several key issues currently in discussion by various candidates which have the potential to significantly impact immigrant communities.

Ranked Choice Voting

What’s Ranked Choice Voting?

Before, New Yorkers could only cast one vote for one candidate in primary elections. Now with the introduction of Ranked Choice Voting, voters can rank up to five candidates for a single position on their ballot in order of personal preference. For example, a voter can rank their first choice for mayor as #1 on their ballot, their second-choice candidate as #2, their third-choice candidate as #3, and so on.

Voters are still allowed to vote for just one candidate, and can also choose to rank less than five candidates. You do not have to rank all five candidates if you only like one or two. Both images below are examples of correctly completed ballots.

How Does Someone Win the Election Under Ranked Choice Voting?