NYC Board of Elections Removes Election Results, Cites Major Error in Counting Votes
Democrat mayoral primary race tabulation taken down over 'discrepancy'
The New York City Board of Elections has removed the election results for the Democrat mayoral primary race after allegedly making a serious error in counting the votes.
The race for NYC mayor plunged into chaos on Tuesday night when election officials released a new tally of votes in the Democratic mayoral primary.
The Board of Elections (BOE) then removed the tabulations from its website after citing a “discrepancy.”
The results released earlier in the day had suggested that the race between frontrunner Eric Adams and his two closest rivals had tightened significantly.
However, just a few hours after releasing the preliminary results, the BOE issued a cryptic tweet revealing a “discrepancy” in the report.
The post claimed officials were working with “technical staff to identify where the discrepancy occurred.”
We are aware there is a discrepancy in the unofficial RCV 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.— NYC Board of Elections (@BOENYC) June 29, 2021
Then, around 10:30 p.m., the board finally released a statement, explaining that it had failed to remove sample ballot images used to test its ranked-choice voting software.
When the board ran the program, it counted “both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records,” the statement said.
The ranked-choice numbers, it said, would be tabulated again.
The NYC BOE's longer statement said:
The Board of Elections conducts rigorous and mandatory pre-qualification testing for every election.
It has been determined that ballot images used for testing were not cleared from the Election Management System (EMS).
EMS produces Cast Vote Records (CVR) from ballot images. RCV software uses the CVR to produce unofficial results.
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.
Board staff has removed all test ballot images from the system and will upload election night results, cross-referencing against election night reporting software for verification.
The cast vote record will be re-generated and the RCV rounds will be re-tabulated.
The Board apologizes for the error and has taken immediate measures to ensure the most accurate up to date results are reported.
Two local NYC journalists reported that the error involved the elections board not removing a large number of test votes from a computer.
“Elections 2.0: Sources tell me the Board of Elections is going back to the drawing board and running corrected ranked-choice numbers tomorrow,” Spectrum News Political Director Bob Hardt said.
“About 130,000 ‘votes’ were part of a test-run that were never cleared from a computer.”
Elections 2.0: Sources tell me the Board of Elections is going back to the drawing board and running corrected ranked-choice numbers tomorrow. About 130,000 “votes” were part of a test-run that were never cleared from a computer.— Bob Hardt (@bobhardt) June 30, 2021
“The [NYC Board of Elections] forgot to take out tens of thousands of practice ballots out of the system before running the RCV simulation today, which resulted in the ‘discrepancies,'” reporter Juan Manuel Benitez tweeted.
The @BOENYC forgot to take out tens of thousands of practice ballots out of the system before running the RCV simulation today, which resulted in the “discrepancies.”— Juan Manuel Benítez (@JuanMaBenitez) June 30, 2021