Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is narrowly leading his closest rivals in the New York City mayoral Democratic primary, though the race has tightened significantly, according to new vote totals posted Wednesday.
The updated vote tallies came a day after the New York City Board of Elections erroneously posted — and later retracted — a preliminary count of ranked-choice voting in the closely watched primary, a move that thrust the contest into chaos and sparked a fresh round of criticism of the long-embattled board.
The new vote tabulation published on Wednesday shows Adams in the lead, albeit by a much smaller margin than the one he held on primary night last week. The latest count shows that, in the final round, Adams leads Kathryn Garcia 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent.
Maya Wiley, whom primary night returns showed in second place, finished narrowly in third place in the eighth round of counting, meaning that she was eliminated in the ninth and final round.
The results posted on Wednesday are preliminary and do not include some 125,000 absentee ballots that have not yet been counted. Those ballots have the potential to sway the outcome of the nominating contest. The final results could still take weeks to determine.
This year’s Democratic mayoral primary marks the election board’s first attempt at implementing ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to list up to five candidates on their ballot in order of preference.
If no candidate surpasses a 50 percent threshold in the first round of counting, the candidate with the least support is eliminated and votes are tallied again until a winner is eventually declared.
But the process was thrown into chaos on Tuesday after the elections board posted and later retracted preliminary results of the ranked-choice vote.
The board said it had discovered a “discrepancy” in the tally, before acknowledging that it had failed to remove sample ballot images used to test its ranked-choice voting software from its election management system. In turn, when the board began going through the results, the program “counted both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records.”
The botched tabulation drew swift criticism from the candidates, who raised concerns about the Board’s ability to effectively implement the ranked-choice voting system. Adams’s campaign filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking “to have a judge oversee and review ballots, if necessary.” Garcia’s campaign filed a lawsuit, as well.