In three primary races, all for City Council seats, the likely winner will be someone other than the candidate who led on election night, according to a City Limits analysis.

John McCarten:NYC Council

Councilmember Bill Perkins may lose the primary after ranked choice voting after initially leading on election day.

The city Board of Elections is expected to certify the results of the June 23 election next week, meaning New Yorkers will know just who has officially won (or lost) the primary races for mayor, borough president, public advocate, comptroller, and City Council.

Based on preliminary ranked-choice voting elimination reports published by the BOE Tuesday, which include all in-person votes plus absentee and affidavit ballots, the winner of the majority of first-place votes in almost every race appears to have ultimately won the primary, according to a City Limits analysis of the early results.

But in three primary races for City Council seats, the likely winner will be someone other than the candidate who led on election night, according to the BOE’s unofficial tabulations.

In one of these races, Council District 9, a manual recount may be required, Dawn Sandow, the BOE’s deputy executive director, said during a commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday.

Read more elections coverage here.

The BOE will decide on a recount for the Harlem seat this week, Sandow said. If a manual count is required, the Board will likely certify the results for all races except for District 9, where  incumbent Councilmember Bill Perkins—who led the field of more than a dozen on primary night, when the BOE released first-round vote counts—now trails artist Kristin Richardson Jordan by 104 votes. 

Manual recounts take place when the leading candidate has a lead of 0.5 percentage points or fewer, according to the BOE. Jordan is currently ahead by 0.6 percent. 

In an emailed statement Wednesday, Jordan—who told City Limits last week that she was claiming victory in the contest—said the prospect of a manual recount was “mixed news.”

“A manual recount is not only a waste of resources that could be better spent on serving the material needs of Harlemites, but it also signals that RCV—which 73% of New Yorkers voted for—is not being respected at the state level,” Jordan added.

The BOE did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Perkins’ campaign, which has been largely inactive throughout the months leading up to the primary

While the Harlem race could end in a recount, upsets in other Council races may hold.

In Council District 25, which includes Elmhurst and Jackson Heights in Queens, businessman and former state Assembly staffer Yi Andy Chen also saw his initial first-round lead of just 98 votes vanish after seven rounds of counting. 

Shekar Krishnan—a lawyer whose platform calls for cancelling rent and mortgages for those financially impacted by COVID-19, repealing the city’s ULURP process, and ending pretrial detention—currently holds a lead of 805 votes in the race.

Krishnan would also be one of the first South Asian New Yorkers elected to the Council.

A similar upset appears to have happened in Staten Island’s 50th Council District’s Republican primary. Marko Kepi, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, who was initially up by a paltry 33 votes after the first-round ballots were counted last month, may lose the race to David Carr, former chief of staff to Councilmember Steven Matteo. 

According to the most recent BOE figures, Carr earned nearly 200 more votes in the subsequent four rounds of ranked-choice vote counting—a difference of almost three points. The close race has drawn challenges from both campaigns: Carr has claimed that Kepi’s campaign was falsifying voter registration forms, the Staten Island Advance reported last month.

“Carr knows his only remaining path to victory is throwing out enough legitimate votes to deny the people a real choice—we will fight to ensure every legal vote is counted!” Kepi tweeted last week. Kepi’s campaign has not presented evidence that “legitimate votes” are being tossed.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *