With the New York primary the preliminary results (ahem) are on the vote by choice
Efforts to improve representation, such as reducing voter suppression, eliminating gerrymandering, and expanding the size of legislatures, are doomed to failure if they are seen to benefit an ideology or to a party, when that is precisely what they are designed to avoid.
New York voters would indeed do not tell Bostonians to “be careful what you want.” A clear majority of them indicated that Eric Adams was the most acceptable candidate (no matter what García or I think of him). They got exactly what they wanted, and we should all feel better about it than if he had won with the 30.8% of the vote he received in the first round.
The Waters of Nancy
It’s about electoral integrity, not partisanship
In the wake of the first New York City Hall primary that featured a preferential vote, there have been numerous reviews of the effectiveness of this unusual voting system, but none are stranger than “The Glorification of the Vote.” preferential ”by Marcela García. She claims that “ranked choice voting was supposed to be a boon to self-proclaimed progressive candidates in Democratic primaries,” on the theory that progressives divide the vote and moderates are chosen without a majority. Certainly, if this is the motivation of progressives to support this voting option, they may be disappointed, as they were in the case of the New York results. However, I would like to think that my progressive colleagues are not so categorically partisan.
Electoral integrity is under attack in this country, and the preferential vote allows the most widely acceptable candidate to win – period. This is why I support it, and why I support fair electoral mechanics in general: not because it will favor my electoral choices but because it will support democracy itself.
In order to form a more democratic system
The most succinct and precise argument in favor of the preferential vote that I have ever heard is written in Marcela García’s column “The glorification of the preferential vote”: “The classified choice is a more democratic system, it is sure. It couldn’t be clearer than that.
New York Election Council’s missteps are vote against ranked choice
Your July 2 editorial, “New York’s rank incompetence shouldn’t derail national momentum for electoral reform,” argues that the snafu in the Democratic New York mayor’s primary results is due to a systems failure and not voting by choice. However, he forgets that a system failure itself is a classified choice failure. Trying to process multiple sets of recalculated results with the same data could lead to potential information overload.
When I ran for Congress in 2018, a mock vote was taken in one of our debates at Lowell. We could not get the results due to a computer problem.
It took two weeks to declare a winner in the New York tally. What if it was a presidential election? Speaking of which, the New York affair has been fodder for all of Trump, who sees voter fraud wherever there is none.
Preferential voting is complicated and confusing for voters and for election officials who must process the results. No wonder members of the New York City Council of Elections went on vacation after the vote.
You claim that preferential voting could prevent negative campaigns. You clearly weren’t following the New York race. Several candidates have pounced on the eventual winner, Eric Adams, accusing him of not living in the city. A few reporters joined the fray, searching around his apartment building to try to determine his residence. Adams countered that the attacks were racist, even though many of the other candidates were people of color.
It sounds like a negative campaign to me.
The writer is a lawyer who was the 2018 Democratic Congressional candidate in Massachusetts’ Third Congressional District.
Bumpy or not, the system worked
The editorial “New York incompetence should not derail national momentum for electoral reforms” describes the situation as a “catastrophe” caused by “incompetence” and declares that “every member” of the electoral board of New York City “should be held accountable for” confidence in the election results.
After posting inaccurate preliminary results in a party primary, the board determined what its mistake was, acknowledged it, and corrected it in an open and transparent manner, all within 24 hours. Isn’t this exactly how we hope and rely on all our benchmark public institutions to behave?