Eric Adams projected to win mayoral race after BOE releases updated results

New York City mayoral primary election
Eric Adams speaks at a New York City primary mayoral election night party in Brooklyn, June 22, 2021.
REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is poised to become New York City’s 110th mayor after the city’s Board of Elections (BOE) released the bulk of the absentee ballots that included ranked-choice voting (RCV) of those ballots Tuesday night, July 6.

According to the unofficial results of the Democratic mayoral primary, Adams received 50.5% of the vote (403,333 votes), while former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia finished second with 49.5% (394,907 votes) — a razor-thin 8,426 vote difference.

According to BOE spokesperson Valerie Vazquez-Diaz, there are 942 invalid curable ballots left to be counted. Curable votes are ballots that were deemed to have been filled in incorrectly, though voters will have a chance to correct their ballot.

Adams releases a statement Tuesday night expressing confidence that the new results show a path to victory.

“While there are still some very small amounts of votes to be counted, the results are clear: a historic, diverse, five-borough coalition led by working-class New Yorkers has led us to victory in the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York City,” Adams said. 

“Now we must focus on winning in November so that we can deliver on the promise of this great city for those who are struggling, who are underserved, and who are committed to a safe, fair, affordable future for all New Yorkers,” he added.

Though unofficial, Tuesday evening’s results paint the clearest picture yet in what has been a nail-biter of an election, which included a major error by the BOE and the institution of RCV, which utilizes a formula of where voters could choose up to five candidates for mayor. 

If no candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote, candidates with the fewest votes are eliminated and their votes are reassigned to the next-ranked candidate on each voter’s ballot. 

After Election Day on June 22, Adams had secured 30.71% of the vote with Civil Rights Attorney Maya Wiley coming in second at 21.12% and Garcia close behind with 20.78%. 

That lead was narrowed down considerably on July 1 after the initial rounds of RCV were factored in. It was then discovered the BOE accidentally added about 135,000 votes to its preliminary ranked-choice voting (RCV) calculations released earlier that day and promised an accurate preliminary recount.

While Garcia did not issue a comment before press time, Wiley did not concede and instead criticized the BOE.

“Today we simply must recommit ourselves to a reformed Board of Elections and build new confidence in how we administer voting in New York City. New York City’s voters deserve better, and the BOE must be completely remade following what can only be described as a debacle,” said Wiley.

The election is set to be officially certified by July 12. Adams will then face Republican Curtis Sliwa in the November general election.