On Tuesday, voters in New York City will go to the polls to select which two candidates will compete to succeed departing Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The election involves more than a dozen Democrats and two Republicans, and voters will choose a winner using ranked-choice voting for the first time.
Eric Adams, a Brooklyn borough president and retired police officer, has led recent polling, followed by businessman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and then Kathryn Garcia, a former New York City sanitation commissioner, in third place.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer, nonprofit leader Dianne Morales, former Citigroup Vice Chairman Ray McGuire, and Shaun Donovan, who served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former President Barack Obama, are among the other leading contenders.
On the Republican side, it comes down to businessman and activist Fernando Mateo and talk show presenter and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa.
Under the new ranked-choice system, ballots are counted in a series of rounds. If no candidate earns a No. 1 ranking from at least 50% of voters, the candidate that places last among first choices is eliminated and voters who selected the eliminated candidate as their top choice will have their second choice counted.
The recent Ipsos poll showed that the race could potentially come down to a final-round face-off, with Adams projected to defeat Yang 56% to 44%.
In an attempt to boost their chances, Yang and Garcia campaigned together over the weekend and Yang encouraged supporters to rank Garcia second on their ballots.
The move drew condemnation from Adams, who accused them of announcing their decision to campaign together on Juneteenth as an effort to weaken the Black and Latino vote, while alluding to tactics used to make it more difficult for Black people to vote in the South.
Yang and Garcia condemned Adams’ accusations, with Yang’s campaign calling them “wacky.”
Some primary factors in the race are crime and policing, as well as how the nation’s most populous city will continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. New York City is set to lift all restrictions next month.
The police issue, as with most cities in the country, also weighs heavily. Morales, Maya Wiley, a former civil rights attorney, Stringer and Donovan support cutting the New York City Police Department’s budget, while the three front-runners, Adams, Garcia and Yang, do not.
Economically, Yang, who made a name for himself in the presidential race by proposing a universal basic income of $1,000 per month for every American, proposes a plan to provide $2,000 per year for about 500,000 low-income city residents.
Adams proposes a $1 billion plan to provide $4,000 per year to low-income residents through a tax credit.
Early voting in the primaries began on June 12, but the ranked-choice voting system could potentially drag the results process weeks beyond the closing of the polls on Tuesday.
“Democracy takes tim,e and every vote counts,” Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, told The New York Times. “Accurate and fair election results are worth waiting for.”
De Blasio, a Democrat, is barred from running for a third term. His successor will be elected during the general election on Nov. 2.