Mayoral hopeful Eric Adams is questioning the city’s plan to release initial results of Tuesday’s mayoral primary that night, arguing that the weeks-long wait between the initial count and the final ranked-choice result will leave voters suspicious of wrongdoing.
“People are going to feel as though there’s something hanky panky going on. We should hold all the numbers until we have the final number,” Adams told reporters in Brooklyn Sunday morning after an appearance at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Tuesday’s election will be the city’s first where voters can list their top five candidates.
The change means that voters are effectively casting ballots for the first round and any potential runoff at the same time.
But officials have said it will likely take weeks to calculate second, third, fourth and fifth choice votes because state law requires them to wait until absentee ballots are returned.
Speaking to reporters Sunday, Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, said he had no choice but to accept the BOE’s plan because it is official city policy.
“There’s are the rules,” he said. “We’ve got to play by the rules, and we’re going to tell our supporters and voters, ‘Let’s remain patient.’ “
Adams previously supported ranked-choice voting, which was approved in 2019 by 75 percent of city voters. He praised the system as “the right way” to avoid costly runoff elections at a 2018 rally, according to a contemporary report on Observer.com.
But the now-mayoral frontrunner changed his tune last year due to a lack of education about ranked-choice voting — and called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to fund educational outreach about the new system.
“It is imperative that every New Yorker understand this major shift that we are about to put in place in our city,” he said at the time.
In December, the NAACP’s New York chapter and a group of six city council members then sued to delay the new voting system. All but one of the council members who sued back Adams for mayor.
The lawsuit, which was unsuccessful, argued that the city did not have a plan to properly educate voters about the new system, thereby “depriving” New Yorkers with limited English proficiency of their voting rights.