NYC Primary: Eric Adams picture found at polling site, other minor issues on Election Day

Primary Day arrives

Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Eric Adams picture found at polling site, other minor issues on Primary Day
Dan Krauth reports on how polling has gone on Primary Day.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Primary Election Day has finally arrived. All eyes are on the race for mayor, which is also a major test of ranked choice voting.

Polls across New York City opened at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

Dave Evans has the latest on the mayor's race in New York City.

Find your local polling place

So far there have been no reports of any major voting problems on Primary Day, however, there was a big picture of mayoral candidate Eric Adams hanging in Borough Hall.

The picture was on display inside the building behind the popular voting location in Brooklyn where people have come and go all day Tuesday.

The picture of the borough president was removed after someone complained. Adams' campaign says the room was usually used for storage, and that's where the picture was being kept.

Other smaller minor issues such as delays and translation problems happened in the area.

Overall, the process was smooth, but a delay did cause a voting location in Bushwick to open more than three hours late this morning.

"I feel really concerned for whoever was turned away in those three-and-a-half hours," voter Marina Schulze said.

At a housing complex in Queens, there were reports of interpreters not showing up to help translate.

Some election workers are hoping the day ends better than how it started.

Face masks aren't the only accessory people showed up with at the polls. They also came with umbrellas in hand.

But despite the rain, there were a steady stream of voters.

"I felt great," voter Adam Gidwitz said. "I love participating in the Democratic process."

Despite the hiccups, there were no major problems or issues with ranked choice voting. For the first time, instead of picking just one candidate, people can pick multiple ranking them from one to five.

"It was nice to know that if my first choice doesn't get it, my second choice is still going to be considered," voter Raina Gilcrist said.

However, it wasn't an easy process for everyone.

"I'm not that familiar with the other candidates," voter Hilda Shelupsky said. "I just voted for the one I wanted."

And that's exactly what the mayor is urging people not to do.

"Do not just rank one person go home, unless you literally can't stand anyone else, do not do that," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Unlike years past, no results are expected Tuesday evening. Once the polls closed at 9 p.m., the Board of Elections plans on releasing where the count stands based on the voters' first choices and only four votes cast in person.

Then next week, it will run its first-ranked choice analysis again using only votes cast in person.

On July 6, the board will do another round of ranked choice analysis that includes all the absentee ballots.

And after that, if there are still uncounted ballots, they'll run another count on July 13, and every Tuesday after that until a winner can be declared.

"The most important thing is get your vote in while it counts," de Blasio said.

The mayoral candidates were out early to vote and greet other voters this morning.

NJ Burkett reports on Primary Election Day in New York City.

Adams voted at 6:45 a.m. in Bedford-Stuyvesant with his family. And he was upbeat and confident, as he has been in recent days.

The poll numbers, no doubt, having a lot to do with that. But he was also emotional, at times.

Those of us who have covered Adams know he's been planning a mayoral run for years. So, yes, it was an emotional moment for him, invoking the memory of his mother.

"And now all the years later, her son walked into a polling place," he said. "He placed her grandson's hand on his name to run to be the mayor of the City of New York."

But with ranked choice voting, the outcome is far from guaranteed. Unless it's a landslide for any one of the candidates, we won't know the official result for several days.

Andrew Yang cautioned New Yorkers against expecting an immediate result, as he campaigned in the Bronx with US Congressman Richie Torres.

"New Yorkers are not a very patient lot," said Yang. "And we are, in all likelihood, going to be waiting for days and weeks to get the final results. I've committed to waiting and respecting the process. I love ranked choice voting, I think it should be the future."

In a bold, strategic move, Yang has campaigned at times with former city sanitation Commissioner, Kathryn Garcia.

She had the earliest stop of all of the candidates today, greeting her former workers at a sanitation garage in Upper Manhattan. The latest poll, released yesterday, had her in third place behind Andrew Yang, who's running second.

"I don't think we can predict what the turnout is going to be today," she said. "I am hopeful that it is high because I want to see everyone exercise their right to vote today. It's a critical election."

Election officials had to remove a larger-than-life sized portrait of Adams in full view of voters at the Borough Hall polling precinct. The Adams campaign dismissed the incident as an oversight, blaming poll workers.

WATCH | How the Democratic mayoral candidates campaigned in primary day:

Our team of reporters with mayoral race coverage in New York City.

Candidate Maya Wiley reacted in outrage, but remained confident as she campaigned in Williamsburg. She's polling in fourth place.

"I'm the progressive that's going to win this race," she said. "We're out here, the voters are excited, they are going to the polls. Many of them say they are going to vote for me. So we are excited."

Scott Stringer started the morning on the Upper West Side, while Ray McGuire was on the Upper East Side.

And Shaun Donovan voted along with his sons in Brooklyn.

Join us for complete political coverage tonight.

Eyewitness News will bring you live digital updates after the polls close on Tuesday at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Watch the coverage streamed above or on your television set using ABC7NY apps on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. To stream, search "ABC7 New York" in the app store.


When will we know who wins NYC's mayoral primary?

New York City has instituted ranked choice voting for Tuesday's primary vote to determine the candidates in the race for mayor. But how long will it take for the results to be tabulated? It might take until July.

Who are the leading candidates for mayor?

The leading Democrats are Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia, Andrew Yang, Maya Wiley, Shaun Donovan, Raymond McGuire, Dianne Morales and Scott Stringer.

The two leading Republicans are Fernando Mateo and Curtis Sliwa.

Most recent polls have suggested that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is the favorite, getting ranked first by a little less than a quarter of likely voters. Other top contenders include civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley, former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who have been polling between 6 and 12 points behind.

What is ranked choice voting?

The concept is relatively simple: voters can rank up to five candidates in order of preference, instead of casting a vote for just one. You can mark a first choice candidate, second choice candidate, and so on up to your fifth choice candidate. If you prefer, you can still vote for just one candidate.

It's designed for those times you voted and thought: "I like more than one candidate on this ballot." Or maybe you concluded: "I really like Candidate A but I don't think he can win, so I'm going to vote for Candidate B because I think that person can beat Candidate C in the general election."

WATCH | Ranked Choice Voting Webchat

So how exactly will ranked choice voting work, why is this happening and what do you need to know about it before you go to the polls? Bill Ritter moderates a webchat with a panel

What other races are on the ballot?

New York City is also using the system in primaries for other municipal offices including city comptroller, borough president, and City Council. There is also a Democratic primary for Manhattan district attorney, but that race will not be decided by ranked choice voting since it is a state office, not a city office.

Watch the first in-person NYC mayoral debate

WABC-TV hosted the second debate for the New York City mayoral race and the first to take place in person earlier in June.

Click here for a recap of what the candidates had to say.

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