BOE Completes First Ranked-Choice Count, Selvena Brooks-Powers Declares Victory


After simply over two days of tabulating, the New York Metropolis Board of Elections completed its first rely of ballots on Thursday utilizing the brand new ranked-choice voting system marking a serious milestone in a brand new period for metropolis elections.

Selvena Brooks-Powers, who led the sphere primarily based on the unofficial outcomes after the February twenty third particular election for Metropolis Council, grew her result in profitable threshold — greater than 50% of the vote — and issued an announcement declaring victory within the thirty first Council District which covers parts of the Rockaway peninsula and the southeast Queens mainland.

“We’re within the midst of a tremendously difficult time, and the thirty first District has been one of many hardest hit,” Brooks-Powers mentioned in an announcement. Invoking crises the district has endured, from the September eleventh assaults, the crash of American Airways Flight 587 within the Rockaway peninsula, the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy, and now the Covid-19 pandemic, she vowed to hit the bottom operating, “I’ll work tirelessly to make sure we get our justifiable share of assist, sources, and respect from Metropolis Corridor.”

READ MORE: Ranked-Selection Voting Is Right here, So Be Ready

After beginning the rely on Tuesday, employees from the Queens Board of Elections compiled the outcomes by 11 a.m. Thursday morning. By their tally, the ultimate two candidates have been Brooks-Powers who received 59% with 3,841 votes and Pesach Osina, who received 41% with 2,674 votes.

There have been 936 “exhausted” ballots, which might imply both the poll was eradicated as a result of the voter didn’t select one of many ultimate candidates or there was an overvote. Exhausted ballots aren’t included within the ultimate tally for the needs of figuring out who received a majority of assist. The BOE is anticipated to certify the outcomes Friday afternoon.

Pesach Osina, who went in individual to witness the relying on Tuesday, issued a concession assertion on Twitter.

“We ran an awesome marketing campaign, however the voters of the Queens thirty first Council district exercised their proper, and have used the ability of their votes, their ranked selection votes…they usually have spoken,” he mentioned. Osina additionally congratulated Brooks-Powers on her win, whereas holding open the potential he might run once more for the seat sooner or later.

Brooks-Powers will serve the steadiness of the time period beforehand held by present Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. However meaning if there are any candidates who wish to run in a main, Brooks-Powers might face one other problem as quickly as June and, once more, for the final election in November.

Advocates for ranked-choice voting framed the outcomes as an indication that voters have been starting to grasp and settle for the brand new voting system. Frequent Trigger New York, which advocated for the passage for ranked-choice voting in 2019, performed exit polling with Edison Analysis of 635 voters within the particular elections for each the twenty fourth and thirty first Metropolis Council districts in Queens.

In accordance with their outcomes, greater than 95% of voters mentioned they discovered the brand new ranked-choice poll “easy to fill out.” A majority of these surveyed, 61%, mentioned they ranked a number of candidates. For many who didn’t select to rank their decisions, greater than 78% mentioned it was as a result of they most popular one candidate.

“Voters have elected a consensus candidate, who received with majority assist,” mentioned Susan Lerner, Frequent Trigger govt director. “That is an enormous enchancment over our earlier system,” she added.