N.Y. Today: New Way of Voting

What you need to know for Friday and the weekend.

Ranked-Choice Voting for N.Y.C. Mayor: What to Know

By Troy Closson


It's Friday.

Weather: The sun will be out today with a high in the mid-60s and skies will be clear tonight. It will be mostly sunny on Saturday but then clouds will move in during the evening. Expect a rainy Sunday.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until April 29 (Holy Thursday, Orthodox).


Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

The June 22 primary is fast approaching.

But voters will find a different type of ballot when they select their party's nominee: For the first time, the city will use ranked-choice voting for primary elections. That means New Yorkers can select a set number of candidates in order of preference — up to five total.

Here's what you need to know about the new system:

So how does this work?

Ranked-choice voting is like voting in rounds: If one candidate receives more than 50 percent of first-choice votes in the first round, they win. But if no one does, the last-place candidate will be eliminated, and all other candidates move to the next round.


Votes for the eliminated candidate are then reallocated to whichever candidate those voters ranked second — and votes are retabulated. Rounds of elimination will continue until two candidates remain.

On top of the mayor's race, you'll be ranking candidates for borough president, comptroller, public advocate and City Council.

Wait … what does this actually mean for me?

You'll mark your preferences by filling in a numbered bubble next to each candidate's name. You can rank as many candidates as the ballot allows, just one candidate, or anything in between — though ranking more than one won't hurt your favorite.

You're still ultimately casting one vote for one person: Just think of your vote as transferable. If your first choice is eliminated, then your vote transfers over to your next choice.


Proponents say the system allows people to more fully express their preferences: You don't have to choose between a candidate you love and one you're just OK with but you think has a better chance of winning.

What's the strategy if there's a candidate I really don't want to win?

Don't vote for them! Vote for the person you most want to see in office.

You could also give high ranks to the candidates you believe are most likely to take down your least-favorite option to pull power away from them.

Can I mail in my ballot or vote early?

Yes. The last day to request an absentee ballot is June 15 and ballots must be postmarked or delivered to the Board of Elections by June 22.

In-person early voting lasts from June 12 to June 20.

From The Times

The Mini Crossword: Here is today's puzzle.

What we're reading

The Open Streets program helped struggling stores and shops in the pandemic's earliest months. But some business owners say a lack of financial support has put Open Streets at risk. [The City]

New York City's mask mandate will remain in place through June at minimum, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. [NBC 4 New York]

What we're watching: The Times's Metro reporters J. David Goodman and Matthew Haag discuss New York City's economy and recovery from the pandemic on "The New York Times Close Up With Sam Roberts." The show airs on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. [CUNY TV]

This newsletter is free, and highlights a small portion of New York Times journalism. To access all of it, consider becoming a subscriber with this special offer.

And finally: Your virtual social weekend

The Times's Melissa Guerrero writes:

Although many performance spaces, museums and community centers are closed, people are finding creative ways to connect through virtual events and programs. Here are suggestions for maintaining a New York social life this weekend while keeping a safe distance from other people.

Book talk: 'Glamour's Women of the Year'

On Friday at 7 p.m., join a conversation about the book "Glamour: 30 Years of Women Who Have Reshaped the World," with the editor in chief of Glamour magazine, Samantha Barry.

R.S.V.P. for free on the event page.

Webinar: Legendary female jazz singers

Learn about the life of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan with a discussion by the D.J. and jazz historian Matthew "Fat Cat" Rivera on Friday at 8 p.m.

Purchase a ticket ($10) on the event page.

Earth Day workshop

On Saturday at 1 p.m., learn how to make a self-watering seed pot for a post-Earth Day celebration.

Watch the free Facebook livestream on the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum page.

It's Friday — take a break.

Metropolitan Diary: N.Y.P.L. on the UES

Dear Diary:

I pity the poor encyclopedia,
Dreary and dingy and dusty.
Does anyone here want to readeeya?
Long ago you were tried, true and trusty.

Every woman and child and manica,
Once pored through your pages, perused
The treasures inside old Britannica,
Now unwanted, unloved and unused.

Can't they see you're enticing, enjoy'ble?
Will they fondle your pages once more?
Why is wanting attention a foible,
When you've knowledge and info galore?

There you sit on the shelves; you're a martyr,
And ignorant louts should be warned:
No one here among us is smarter,
Than the mighty tomes that they've scorned.

I pity the poor encyclopedia,
Suff'ring a silent malaise,
Sexy screens and seductive new media
That's what's on the menu these days.

— Lou Craft

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