With 5 million registered voters, New York City’s municipal election is one of the largest in the country. Here are 5 things to know now about the upcoming elections.
1. In 2021 New York City residents will be voting for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough Presidents, and City Council. There will be primaries in June and a primary election in November. There will also be special elections for open City Council seats in Queens District 31 on February 23rd and in the Bronx District 11 and 15 on March 23rd.
2. Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) will be used during the primary elections in June. Rather than simply voting for one candidate, voters will have the opportunity to “rank” up to 5 candidates. Using RCV, votes are counted in rounds. If in any round, your top choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your next choice candidate. This continues until there are two candidates left or a candidate secures over 50% of the vote. This ensures that the winner has a broad base of support in the community.
3. NYC uses a “closed primary” system which means you must be registered with a party (Republican, Democrat, etc.) in order to vote in a primary. If you are currently registered to vote and wish to change your party affiliation, you must do so by February 14th. If you’re not registered to vote you must register by May 28th. You can check your voting status here: www.nycvotersearch.com
4. New Yorkers will once again have the option of requesting an absentee ballot using “risk of contracting or spreading a disease” such as COVID-19 as reasoning. Early voting will also be available the week before each election. Check out the NYC election calendar here: https://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/election-calendar
5. There are a record-breaking number of candidates running in many of the races, making voting in the primary elections even more important. These local elected positions will have an immediate impact on all residents throughout the five boroughs. Your vote and your voice matters!