Three special elections, 20,983 total ballots and 25 total rounds of tabulation that were conducted by hand.
What You Need To Know
- Four City Council special elections have used ranked-choice voting this year
- Three have required counting that goes into rounds because no candidate surpassed 50% at first
- Elections workers counted ballots by hand in two recent Bronx races
- Candidates call for more outreach, education on new voting system before June
The labor-intensive counting is done in the races serving as tests of ranked-choice voting before New Yorkers use it citywide in the June primaries.
After six rounds, Eric Dinowitz declared victory as the next City Council member representing District 11 in the Bronx.
“Number one, I want to make sure our community gets the vaccines, particularly for older adults who didn’t have the access to booking their appointments and for communities of color and immigrant communities," he told NY1, adding that his longer-term priorities are to revive small businesses and reopen schools safely.
After 10 rounds, Oswald Feliz declared victory in the race to lead City Council District 15, also in the Bronx.
He listed his priorities: “Housing, education, on top of that, public safety. We have some public safety issues in the Bronx that we have to work on. And last but not least, health. We have an asthma crisis. And that perfectly explains why communities like the Bronx were affected more than other communities by the coronavirus."
Dinowitz and Feliz’s elections were held March 23.
They and Selvena Brooks-Powers — who won the Feb. 23 election for City Council District 31 in Queens after nine rounds — all led their respective races on Election Night.
All three emerged as the ultimate victors after voters’ first-, second- and subsequent-choices were considered.
The city Board of Elections isn’t expected to count ballots by hand come June in the high-stakes, higher-turnout races like that for mayor.
Its state counterpart is set to approve tabulation software before then.
But both Feliz and Dinowitz told NY1 more outreach about ranked-choice voting is crucial before June and cited confused special election voters.
“On Election Day, they had never, ever heard about the system before. So, we absolutely should have done more work on that, and hopefully the city does more work on that, educating the public," Feliz said.
“A lot of people knew what it was. They had heard of ranked-choice voting. But there was a lot of confusion about how it worked," Dinowitz said.