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Eric Adams leads the New York Democratic primary.  But it will take time to find out who won.


Eric Adams is in the lead. Andrew Yang conceded. Kathryn Garcia has sworn that the winner will get the “two and three” in preferential vote. Maya Wiley assured her supporters that “every vote will count.”

Initial results reported in Democratic Primary for New York City Hall showed Adams a formidable lead, but it should be weeks before a winner is declared.

The votes released Tuesday night were only the first choice votes for ballots cast in person during early voting and on primary day. There are no postal ballots yet counted in the results as the ballots can arrive in the mail until June 29, although they had to be stamped by Tuesday.

Adams led his rivals with about 31% of the votes cast Wednesday at midnight, which represented about 92% of the city’s election scanners. He was confident about his prospects at a rally with supporters on Tuesday night, but urged patience as he awaits the results.

Eric Adams leads the New York Democratic primary.  But it will take time to find out who won.

Stephanie Keith / Getty Images, AP Photo / Kevin Hagen, Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images


“We know it’s going to be layers. This is the first early count of the votes. We know it. We know it’s going to be two, three and four, we know it,” Adams said. “But there is something else we do know: that New York City said ‘our top pick is Eric Adams’.”

Lagging behind were Wiley with around 22% and Garcia with around 20%. As they lagged behind at the end of Tuesday night, they made it clear that there is a long way to go before a winner is declared.

“I don’t know what New Yorkers chose tonight. None of us do because the votes are still being counted. I’ll tell you what’s true: every vote will count,” he said. said Wiley.

“It will be a ranked choice election,” Garcia said in his speech. “It will concern not only the one, but also the two and the three.”

Yang, who was a favorite in the early months of 2021, trailed Wiley and Garcia by several percentage points and conceded Tuesday night.

“You all know I’m a numbers guy. I’m someone who messes around with numbers and I’m not going to be the next mayor of New York,” Yang said. “I concede this race. Although we don’t know who the next mayor will be, but whoever that person is, I will be very happy to work with them to help improve the lives of the 8.3 million people who live in our area. big city.”

This is the first citywide primary where New York City has used preferential voting. The system allows voters to rank up to five candidates for mayor and other city offices. If no candidate obtains a majority of the first-place votes, the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes will be eliminated and his supporters’ votes will be reallocated based on other selections. This process of elimination and redistribution will be repeated until two candidates remain and the candidate with the most votes wins.

The Elections Council is expected to publish on June 29 the first total of preferential votes for early votes in person and on primary day. The first round of tabulation of votes in preferential order with postal ballots is scheduled to take place on July 6. Any subsequent tabulation rounds will take place in the following weeks. Voters have until July 9 to address shortcomings in the mail-in ballots, which means final results may not arrive until July 12. On Monday, about 207,000 mail-in ballots were sent out in the Democratic primary and about 87,000 were returned.

In many ranked vote elections, the leading candidate after the first choice votes wins the election, but races can change significantly when ranked. In 2018, San Francisco mayor London Breed won by around 12 points but continued to win by a single point in the final round of tabulation. This race is not directly comparable to that of New York as the field was less crowded and two candidates formed a strong alliance.

New York voters saw some sort of alliance between Garcia and Yang during the last weekend of early voting. Yang urged his supporters to rank Garcia second, but Garcia did not explicitly endorse Yang and ask his supporters to rank him second. It remains to be seen how this strategy will play out in the final standings. Adams and his allies sharply criticized the alliance, which led to a campaign home stretch.

The winner of the primary will face Republican Curtis Sliwa in November. Whoever wins the Democratic primary will be a big favorite to win the general election in heavily Democratic New York City.

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