The New York City Board of Elections threw the city’s mayoral election into disarray Tuesday night, publishing and then deleting preliminary vote counts in the city’s first mayoral race to use ranked-choice voting. The board explained in a tweet that it had failed to clear 135,000 test votes from its computer system and thus included them in the official tally with real votes. “When the cast vote records were extracted for the first pull of RCV results, it included both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records,” the board said on Twitter.
Though Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held an early lead on the night of the election itself, the new figures seemed to show his margin narrowing to be neck-and-neck with former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. The total number of votes jumped from 799,827 last Tuesday to 941,832 this week, a leap Adams questioned on Twitter. The board tweeted, “We are aware there is a discrepancy in the unofficial RCV [ranked-choice voting] round by round elimination report. We are working with our RCV technical staff to identify where the discrepancy occurred. We ask the public, elected officials and candidates to have patience.” Vote counting is expected to take several more weeks before the board reaches a final tally.