Maricopa County Board of Supervisors condemns election audit and new subpoenas: ‘There was no fraud’

In this May 6, 2021, file photo, Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.
In this May 6, 2021, file photo, Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Arizona’s largest county has approved nearly $3 million for new vote-counting machines to replace those given to legislative Republicans for a partisan review of the 2020 election. The GOP-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said Wednesday, July 14, 2021 that the machines were compromised because they were in the control of firms not accredited to handle election equipment.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors issued a pointed response to Arizona state Senate Republicans, who issued a new series of subpoenas to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on July 26 related to their audit of the 2020 election.

Board Chairman Jack Sellers condemned the audit in his portion of the response, stating that the board has “little time to entertain this adventure in never-never land.”

In early 2020, the state’s Senate chose Cyber Ninjas, a private firm with no previous election experience, to carry out another count of ballots in Maricopa County. The firm is spearheaded by a Trump supporter who promoted false conspiracy claims last fall.

Because President Joe Biden won Maricopa County by more than 45,000 votes, the audit commissioned by Arizona’s GOP-led state Senate has been dismissed by experts as a partisan endeavor intended to substantiate former President Donald Trump’s false claims that he won.

The Board of Supervisors’ response to the audit-related subpoenas also contained a letter from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office objecting to certain demands, including turning over all ballot envelopes or images of them, routers, network logs, and all county registered voter records to date.

“There was no fraud, there wasn’t an injection of ballots from Asia nor was there a satellite that beamed votes into our election equipment. It’s time for all elected officials to tell the truth and stop encouraging conspiracy theories,” Sellers said.

Sellers concluded his portion of the response by the auditors to release their report, as well as asking them to “be prepared to defend any accusations of misdeeds in court.”

Two days before the July 26 subpoenas were issued, Republican Arizona state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita withdrew her support for the audit.

In a Twitter thread, Ugenti-Rita said she believed the effort had been “botched” and the “incompetence” of Senate President Karen Fann had deprived the voters of a comprehensive audit.

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AOC says the notion that activists can ‘out-organize’ voter suppression is ‘a ridiculous premise’ that ‘verges on naïveté’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appearing on CNN's "State of the Union"
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday that the idea of “out-organizing” voter suppression “verges on naïveté”

  • AOC is joining progressives criticizing the notion that voter suppression can be out-organized.
  • Ocasio-Cortez told CNN that the notion “verges on naïveté” and is a “ridiculous premise.”
  • The Times reported that White House officials believe organizing can overcome restrictive voting rules.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the notion that grassroots organizing alone can combat voter suppression “verges on naïveté” and is a “ridiculous premise” in a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Ocasio-Cortez was responding to a New York Times report published July 23 which detailed the tension between the Biden White House and civil rights activists over voting rights issues. The Times reported that in “private calls” with activists, White House officials and close allies of the president have expressed confidence that it is possible to ‘out-organize voter suppression.'”

The Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein similarly reported in late May that White House officials believe “there are work-arounds to some of these provisions” on voting through organizing, with one official saying: “show us what the rules are and we will figure out a way to educate our voters and make sure they understand how they can vote and we will get them out to vote.”

“I appreciate the White House’s optimism, but I believe it verges on naïveté,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “It already took unprecedented, historic organizing to overcome the historic voter suppression efforts in 2020 and we barely squeaked through on the majorities and the White House election that we had.”

Ocasio-Cortez also referenced the emerging threat of GOP-backed election subversion in the states, noting that no amount of organizing can stop partisan interference in the counting of votes.

“Even if we are successful in ‘out organizing voter suppression, which is a ridiculous premise on its face, Republicans are already laying the groundwork in installing state-level attorney generals and beyond to overturn the results of any state election that they frankly do not like in states where they have taken power,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

A June update to a report from Protect Democracy, States United Democracy Center, and Law Forward identified 24 laws passed and enacted in 14 GOP-controlled states that criminalize aspects of the election administration process and give partisan officials more control over how elections are conducted and certified. That’s in addition to GOP lawmakers pursuing dubious “audits” and recounts of already-certified elections in states like Arizona and Pennsylvania.

“Even if you are successful in out-organizing, they are laying the groundwork to not even certify the results of the election. They are holding, essentially dress rehearsals in states like Arizona in order to do that. And I think we should be extremely alarmed,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

Ocasio-Cortez is joining a growing chorus of progressive voices criticizing President Joe Biden’s White House for not pushing forcefully enough for voting rights protections.

Ocasio-Cortez previously tweeted that “communities cannot ‘out-organize’ voter suppression when those they organize to elect won’t protect the vote.& Even if they DO out-organize, the ground is being set to overturn results. The time to fight like hell for democracy is right now. We may not get another chance.”

Many activists are frustrated that Biden, who has called new GOP election laws “Jim Crow on steroids” and described them as the biggest challenge American democracy has faced since the Civil War, isn’t calling for reforms of the Senate filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.

The current Senate filibuster rules require 60 votes to debate and pass most legislation. In late June, Senate Republicans filibustered the For The People Act, or S. 1, Democrats’ sweeping voting rights legislation. Senate Democrats are now drawing up a revised, more narrowly-tailored version of the bill focused on voting rights.

House Democrats are also preparing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013 in the Shelby v. Holder case.

Biden continued to reject the idea of nixing the filibuster in a July 21 CNN town hall, saying that getting rid of it would “throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done.”

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Willie Nelson condemns the Texas voting bill as ‘un-American’ and headlines at the end of a four-day protest

Willie Nelson headlines protest against new voting legislation in Texas
Willie Nelson headlines protest against new voting legislation in Texas

  • Country star Willie Nelson headlined the final day of the four-day march against voting legislation in Texas.
  • Texas is one of several GOP-led states that have introduced voting bills following the 2020 election.
  • The protested legislation proposes several policies, including new ID requirements for voting.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Country music star Willie Nelson has headlined the close of a four-day march in Texas in support of voting rights.

Texas is one of several GOP-led states that has introduced voting and elections bills following the 2020 election – and masses have come out to protest as Democrats call them an attack on voting rights.

Nelson played a short set to close out the rally staged in Austin to close out the rally, which featured the star’s 2018 song, “Vote ‘Em Out.”

“It is important that we ensure the right for EVERY American to vote and vote safely,” Nelson said in a statement through the Poor People’s Campaign when he announced his participation in the rally in support of Democratic state legislators who bolted for Washington two weeks ago to block GOP-backed voting restrictions.

“Laws making it more difficult for people to vote is un-American and are intended to punish poor people, people of color, the elderly, and disabled – why? If you can’t win playing by the rules, then it’s you and your platform – not everyone else’s ability to vote.”

In addition to Nelson, Rev. Barber, the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the campaign, and Beto O’Rourke took the stage.

The voting regulations have been proposed in light of unfounded allegations that the 2020 presidential elections were fraudulent – despite the CISA stating that it was the most secure election in history.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has pledged to schedule a special session to pass the new voting legislation that includes new ID requirements to vote, a ban on drive-thru voting, new regulations for early voting hours, including a ban on 24-hour voting, and a ban on the distribution of mail-in ballot applications.

President Biden has previously stated full support for those fighting the new legislation, saying, “We’ll be asking my Republican friends in Congress and states and cities and counties to stand up, for God’s sake, and help prevent this concerted effort to undermine our elections and the sacred right to vote. Have you no shame?”

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AOC says communities ‘can’t out-organize’ voter suppression and warns the ‘ground is being set to overturn results’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters, Thursday, June 17, 2021, as she arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington. (
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters, Thursday, June 17, 2021, as she arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington. (

  • AOC is joining progressives criticizing the notion that voter suppression can be out-organized.
  • The Times reported that White House officials believe organizing can overcome restrictive voting rules.
  • “The time to fight like hell for democracy is right now. We may not get another chance,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vocally pushed back against the notion that grassroots organizing alone can combat voter suppression, joining a growing chorus of progressive voices criticizing President Joe Biden’s White House for not pushing forcefully enough for voting rights protections.

“Communities cannot ‘out-organize’ voter suppression when those they organize to elect won’t protect the vote.& Even if they DO out-organize, the ground is being set to overturn results. The time to fight like hell for democracy is right now. We may not get another chance,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Ocasio-Cortez was responding to a New York Times report published Friday which detailed the tension between the Biden White House and civil rights activists who are sounding the alarm on GOP efforts in states to restrict voting and undermine the results of the 2020 election.

The Times reported that in “private calls” with activistsWhite House officials and close allies of the president have expressed confidence that it is possible to ‘out-organize voter suppression.'”

The Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein reported in late May that while White House officials consider new voting laws “offensive from a civil-rights perspective, they do not think most of those laws will advantage Republicans in the 2022 and 2024 elections as much as many liberal activists fear.”

Many activists are frustrated that Biden, who has called new GOP election laws “Jim Crow on steroids” and described them as the biggest challenge American democracy has faced since the Civil War, isn’t calling for reforms of the Senate filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.

The current Senate filibuster rules require 60 votes to debate and pass most legislation. In late June, Senate Republicans filibustered the For The People Act, or S. 1, Democrats’ sweeping voting rights legislation.

Congressional Democrats are turning next to the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013 in the Shelby v. Holder case.

Read more: Meet Matt Graves, the Biden administration’s pick to oversee hundreds of US Capitol attack cases

Biden continued to reject the idea of nixing the filibuster in a Wednesday CNN town hall, saying that getting rid of it would “throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done.”

Ocasio-Cortez also referenced the emerging threat of GOP-backed election subversion in the states, noting that no amount of organizing can stop partisan interference in the counting of votes

A June update to a report from Protect Democracy, States United Democracy Center, and Law Forward identified 24 laws passed and enacted in 14 GOP-controlled states that criminalize aspects of the election administration process and give partisan officials more control over how elections are conducted and certified, in addition to GOP lawmakers pursuing dubious “audits” and recounts of already-certified elections in states like Arizona.

In Congress, the House Administration Committee, which has jurisdiction over voting and election law, is holding a hearing on the issue of election subversion on Wednesday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

McConnell criticizes Texas Democrats for staging a walkout, saying they’ve come ‘to snap selfies and bask in the limelight’

mitch mcconnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., does a cable news interview before the start of a two-week recess, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 23, 2021.

  • Mitch McConnell slammed Texas Democrats who fled the state for Washington, DC, this week.
  • McConnell accused them of coming “to snap selfies and bask in the limelight.”
  • The legislators staged a walkout to block a series of GOP-led bills in the state legislature.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had harsh words for Texas Democrats who fled the state Monday for Washington, DC, in a dramatic walkout to block passage of a series of Republican-led bills.

The Kentucky Republican accused the state Democratic lawmakers of coming to the nation’s capital to have a moment in the sun.

The legislators “decided to grab some beer, hop on a private plane and flee the state in what they are pretending is some great moral crusade,” McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, according to CNN’s Manu Raju. “In reality, they’ve just come here to Washington to snap selfies and bask in the limelight.”

The Democratic lawmakers left Texas during a special legislative session to deny the quorum necessary to pass legislation brought forth by Republicans.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held the special session to push through a slew of his conservative priorities, ranging from voting reform to abortion access.

Texas Democrats specifically aimed to block two key election bills, House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1, arguing the legislation imposes strict voting rules by requiring voter ID for absentee ballots, bans on drive-thru voting, among other measures.

The state lawmakers this week met with some of the nation’s top leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to raise concerns about voting rights in the nation. Vice President Kamala Harris threw her support behind their walkout on Monday, saying: “I applaud their standing for the rights of all Americans and all Texans to express their voice through their vote unencumbered.”

Other prominent figures on the right besides McConnell that criticized the walkout include Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who on Tuesday night said the legislators were committing an “insurrection.”

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Colorado’s top elections official calls out lies, ‘blatant abuse,’ and voter suppression being used by GOP officials ‘a tool to steal future elections’

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold makes a point during a news conference about the the state's efforts to protect the process of casting a vote in the general election Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in downtown Denver.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold makes a point during a news conference about the the state’s efforts to protect the process of casting a vote in the general election Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in downtown Denver.

  • For nearly a decade, Colorado has automatically mailed a ballot to every registered voter.
  • Officials boast that the system is a “gold standard” for administering elections.
  • But after 2020, the bipartisan consensus has begun to erode.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jena Griswold was 34 years old when, in her first run for office back in 2018, she defeated a Republican incumbent to become the top elections official in Colorado, the first Democrat to hold the position in six decades and the youngest secretary of state in the nation.

Two years later, Griswold helped administer a presidential election – in a place where all voters receive a ballot in the mail – that state and national officials deemed “the most secure in American history.”

Joe Biden won Colorado by more than 439,000 votes and, with it, the presidency. But the groundwork for discrediting his victory had been laid months before. When voters made their choice, the lying hit a fever pitch: about widespread fraud; about fake ballots, maybe from China, being added to the tally in the middle of the night; about officials, left and right, rigging the vote against an incumbent.

In an interview, Griswold said she now fears for her safety.

“I’m not alone in that,” she said. Across the country, “Democratic secretaries of state have received all types of death threats.” Republicans, too.

In Arizona, Katie Hobbs, that state’s Democratic elections official, was recently provided a state security detail after being threatened over her criticism of the partisan “audit” taking place in Maricopa County, where a private third party, Cyber Ninjas, has been given free rein by the GOP-led state senate over 2.1 million ballots – a majority of them cast for President Biden – in an apparent effort, dismissed by a bipartisan group of experts as not credible, to fit the facts to the pro-Trump conspiracy theories.

Griswold is part of a bipartisan group of elections officials urging Congress to provide billions of dollars to shore up state and local voting infrastructure (“elections cost money”). But the biggest threat to the security of democracy, she said, is something else: disinformation.

In 2016, the Russian government worked to tilt the election in Donald Trump’s favor, as well as to sow doubt about the integrity of any vote he lost. It did so again in 2020.

But stateside, “elected officials really embraced the use of lies to try to manipulate Americans voters,” Griswold said.

“The lies are creating violence. The lies are creating threats,” she said. It is those elected officials, more than any foreign adversary, that she sees as threatening the integrity of the US political system. The push for “fraudulent audits,” in Arizona and elsewhere, is to Griswold perhaps the most glaring example of officials who know better engaging in bad faith to better position themselves for the next GOP primary.

“The blatant abuse of political seats for these elected officials’ personal gain is incredibly dangerous to our democracy, but also to election workers,” she said. “That is, hands down, my number one concern.”

It has included misleading the public over the very right to vote. In Georgia, when Republicans passed a new elections law that requires mail-in voters to provide an ID every time they cast a ballot – citing the need to address fraud that was never uncovered – they pointed to Colorado as if it were a model they were following. But Colorado only requires proof of identification once, at registration, the standard Republicans embraced in the early 2000s, and it accepts utility bills, not just government forms of ID. And, as of 2019, residents are now automatically registered to vote anytime they get a driver’s license.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous to compare Colorado’s gold-standard voter model to Georgia’s voter suppression model,” Griswold told Insider. Even before the new restrictions, some voters in Georgia, particularly in urban areas, could expect to wait hours in line; in Colorado, the average wait time is seven minutes – and there’s no prohibition on giving them water.

But false claims of voter fraud are being used around the country to impose such new restrictions. The threat to democracy, again, is coming from within.

“What we’re seeing is insider political actors use voter suppression as a tool to steal future elections,” Griswold said. “And that is the most un-American and corrupting thing you can do.”

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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RESULTS: Eric Adams projected winner of New York City Mayor Democratic primary

From left: Shaun Donovan, Andrew Yang, Ray McGuire, Kathryn Garcia, Eric Adams, and Maya Wiley with New York City's skyline tint blue in the background.
  • Eric Adams is now projected to win the Democratic nomination for New York City Mayor.
  • New York City voters are selecting Democratic and Republican nominees for mayor.
  • New York is using ranked-choice voting for the first time, so the winner may not be known for weeks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The latest tallies of New York City’s ranked-choice Democratic mayoral primary election show Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams narrowly leading former New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia by just 8,426 votes, 50.5% to 49.5%, with most absentee votes now counted. Given the outstanding vote and Adams’ lead, he is projected to be the winner of the primary.

The latest results include over 122,000 absentee ballots and some provisional ballots cast in-person. Out of the total 125,794 absentee ballots cast in the mayoral primary, 3,669 had problems with the signature on the outer envelope that voters will need to fix in order for their ballots to count, the city’s Board of Elections announced Tuesday.

Voters went to the polls through June 22 to pick Democratic and Republican nominees for mayor in the race to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is term-limited.

The winner of the crowded Democratic primary field will be the favorite in November’s general election, with Democrats heavily outnumbering registered Republicans across the five boroughs.

The Board of Elections released unofficial, un-ranked election results based on in-person votes only on Election Night, then ran the first ranked-choice tabulations a week later on June 29, also based on only in-person votes.

But it didn’t go off without some drama along the way: officials had to remove, recalculate, and re-release the first set of ranked-choice vote tabulations for the city’s mayoral race after a major mishap ensued when an employee in Queens accidentally included 135,000 test votes in the ranked-choice runoff results released on June 29, an embarrassment for the embattled city Board of Elections.

Several candidates, however, found themselves eliminated from contention just based on the unranked, election night results.

Shortly before 11 p.m. on the night of June 22, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang conceded in a speech in front of supporters.

“I am not going to be the next Mayor of New York City,” Yang said, sitting in fourth place.

Here are the unofficial, ranked tenth-round election results that show how the candidates stand before absentee and provisional ballots were added to the tally:

A voter receives her ballot in New York City's June 22 mayoral election
A voter receives her ballot at Frank McCourt High School, in New York, Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

Why it took weeks to learn results.

While tabulating ranked-choice votes is done via software and is not particularly arduous on its own, it’s taking weeks to know the final results of the mayor’s race because of New York’s procedures for counting absentee ballots.

New York continued to allow voters to vote absentee due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and state law allows a lot of time for ballots to be accepted and mistakes with voters’ ballots to be rectified.

Absentee ballots were accepted through June 29 as long as they were postmarked by Election Day, and voters have until July 9 to fix or “cure” issues, like missing signatures on the outer envelopes of their ballots, under a new state law.

Military and overseas absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day were also accepted through July 5.

Then, ranked-choice voting comes into play. In the mayoral, borough president, and city council races, voters have the option to rank up to five candidates in order of their preference after New York City voters approved a ballot initiative to enact ranked-choice voting in 2019.

Ranked-choice voting ensures that the candidate who eventually wins does so with a majority of the vote.

Since no candidate won over 50% of the vote outright in the Democratic mayoral primary, the votes earned by the candidate who comes in last place are redistributed up to the next-best performing candidate. The process then continues up the chain until one candidate finally earns a majority of the vote.

The Board of Elections is expected to finish up final ranked-choice rounds with complete absentee and provisional results during the week of July 12.

New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams at a campaign event
Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams greets supporters during a campaign event, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York

How the campaign shaped up during the pandemic.

The primary’s early months were dominated by Zoom forums.

Nonprofit organizations, unions, and other local groups held discussions that were less debates than opportunities for the candidates to repeat their campaign promises and sharpen their messaging.

Another factor making this campaign rather unusual was the general lack of public polling, with several pollsters saying they were uncomfortable simulating ranked-choice voting with any accuracy.

By May, in-person campaign events began to heat up, and eventually the candidates were able to meet in-person for a handful of televised debates.

Yang started the race as the frontrunner, but as more polling became available in the final weeks, he began to slip into second, third, and even fourth place in some surveys.

However, Yang remained competitive throughout, and an Ipsos poll released on the eve of the primary showed him in second place behind Adams.

Adams cleaned up with labor endorsements around the city, while Yang received a first of its kind joint-endorsement from Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish community leaders. The borough president’s momentum was complicated by a scandal involving his primary residence, when a Politico investigation found Adams may have been living in either New Jersey or his office instead of a Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone that he officially listed.

Garcia began to surge following her New York Times Editorial Board endorsement, and Wiley was able to capitalize on late support from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Outside of the top four, several progressive candidates failed to gain traction, most notably City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Stringer was accused by two women of sexually assaulting them in the early 2000s. He denied both allegations, but saw a mass defection of endorsements.

The latest twist in the race came in the final weekend, when Yang and Garcia campaigned together to “promote ranked-choice voting,” but not as a co-endorsement. Adams accused them of trying to prevent a person of color from becoming mayor, to which Yang replied that he’s been Asian his whole life.

Read the original article on Business Insider

RESULTS: New York City to re-tally ranked choice rounds after major tabulation errors included dummy votes

From left: Shaun Donovan, Andrew Yang, Ray McGuire, Kathryn Garcia, Eric Adams, and Maya Wiley with New York City's skyline tint blue in the background.
  • New York City voters are selecting Democratic and Republican nominees for mayor.
  • New York is using ranked-choice voting for the first time, so the winner may not be known for weeks.
  • Eric Adams’ initial lead was cut down by Kathryn Garcia and Maya Wiley.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York City officials have retracted the most recent vote count and the first set of ranked-choice vote tabulations for the city’s mayoral race after accidentally including 135,000 dummy test votes in the ranked-choice runoff tallies it conducted and released on Tuesday.

The Board of Elections removed the previous results from the first set of ranked-choice runoff rounds from its website and announced in a statement late Tuesday night that it will re-upload the election night results (which include in-person votes and no absentee ballots so far), re-generate the cast vote record, and re-tally ranked-choice rounds.

Unofficial and incomplete election night results only had Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams holding a commanding lead, followed by former New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley.

The Board of Elections ran the first round of ranked-choice voting based on the results of in-person votes only. These results will remain incomplete and unofficial, however, since the over 124,000 absentee ballots cast in the Democratic primary won’t yet counted and factored into the tally until later on.

Voters went to the polls through June 22 to pick Democratic and Republican nominees for mayor in the race to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is term-limited.

The winner of the crowded Democratic primary field will be the favorite in November’s general election, with Democrats heavily outnumbering registered Republicans across the five boroughs.

Ranked-choice voting is being used for the first time in the city’s history for these races, complicating predictions and the logistics of counting the votes.

Shortly before 11 p.m. on the night of June 22, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang conceded in a speech in front of supporters.

“I am not going to be the next Mayor of New York City,” Yang said, sitting in fourth place.

Here are the unofficial, ranked tenth-round election results that show how the candidates stand before absentee and provisional ballots are added to the tally:

A voter receives her ballot in New York City's June 22 mayoral election
A voter receives her ballot at Frank McCourt High School, in New York, Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

Why we may not know the winner for two more weeks.

While tabulating ranked-choice votes is done via software and is not particularly arduous on its own, it’s taking weeks to know the final results of the mayor’s race because of New York’s procedures for counting absentee ballots.

New York is continuing to allow voters to vote absentee due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and state law allows a lot of time for ballots to be accepted and mistakes with voters’ ballots to be rectified.

Absentee ballots are accepted through June 29 as long as they’re postmarked by Election Day, and voters have another week on top of that to fix or “cure” issues, like missing signatures on the outer envelopes of their ballots, under a new state law. Military and overseas absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day are also accepted through July 5.

Then, ranked-choice voting comes into play. In the mayoral, borough president, and city council races, voters have the option to rank up to five candidates in order of their preference after New York City voters approved a ballot initiative to enact ranked-choice voting in 2019.

Ranked-choice voting ensures that the candidate who eventually wins does so with a majority of the vote.

Since no candidate won over 50% of the vote outright in the Democratic mayoral primary, the votes earned by the candidate who comes in last place are redistributed up to the next-best performing candidate. The process then continues up the chain until one candidate finally earns a majority of the vote.

Here’s a likely timeline for the results, according to THE CITY and The New York Times:

  • June 22: Unofficial, first-round election night results before ranked-choice rounds are released. These results will only include in-person votes, not absentee or provisional ballots.
  • June 29: Board of Elections runs the first round of ranked-choice voting, also without full absentee and provisional results. These results will remain unofficial.
  • July 6: Ranked-choice tallies are updated with absentee and provisional ballots as they’re counted and accepted.
  • July 12: The Board of Elections is expected to finish up final ranked-choice rounds with complete absentee and provisional results.

New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams at a campaign event
Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams greets supporters during a campaign event, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York

How the campaign shaped up during the pandemic.

The primary’s early months were dominated by Zoom forums.

Nonprofit organizations, unions, and other local groups held discussions that were less debates than opportunities for the candidates to repeat their campaign promises and sharpen their messaging.

Another factor making this campaign rather unusual was the general lack of public polling, with several pollsters saying they were uncomfortable simulating ranked-choice voting with any accuracy.

By May, in-person campaign events began to heat up, and eventually the candidates were able to meet in-person for a handful of televised debates.

Yang started the race as the frontrunner, but as more polling became available in the final weeks, he began to slip into second, third, and even fourth place in some surveys.

However, Yang remained competitive throughout, and an Ipsos poll released on the eve of the primary showed him in second place behind Adams.

Adams cleaned up with labor endorsements around the city, while Yang received a first of its kind joint-endorsement from Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish community leaders. The borough president’s momentum was complicated by a scandal involving his primary residence, when a Politico investigation found Adams may have been living in either New Jersey or his office instead of a Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone that he officially listed.

Garcia began to surge following her New York Times Editorial Board endorsement, and Wiley was able to capitalize on late support from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Outside of the top four, several progressive candidates failed to gain traction, most notably City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Stringer was accused by two women of sexually assaulting them in the early 2000s. He denied both allegations, but saw a mass defection of endorsements.

The latest twist in the race came in the final weekend, when Yang and Garcia campaigned together to “promote ranked-choice voting,” but not as a co-endorsement. Adams accused them of trying to prevent a person of color from becoming mayor, to which Yang replied that he’s been Asian his whole life.

Read the original article on Business Insider

RESULTS: Eric Adams holds a commanding lead as officials begin ranked-choice runoffs in New York City

From left: Shaun Donovan, Andrew Yang, Ray McGuire, Kathryn Garcia, Eric Adams, and Maya Wiley with New York City's skyline tint blue in the background.
  • New York City voters are selecting Democratic and Republican nominees for mayor.
  • New York is using ranked-choice voting for the first time, so the winner may not be known for weeks.
  • Eric Adams holds a strong lead as absentee and ranked-choice votes remain outstanding.
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New York City officials are beginning the process of ranking the still-unofficial results in New York City’s first-ever ranked-choice mayoral election.

On June 29, the Board of Elections will run the first round of ranked-choice voting based on the results of in-person votes only. These results will remain incomplete and unofficial, however, since the over 124,000 absentee ballots cast in the Democratic primary won’t yet counted and factored into the tally until next week.

Voters went to the polls through June 22 to pick Democratic and Republican nominees for mayor in the race to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is term-limited.

The winner of the crowded Democratic primary field will be the favorite in November’s general election, with Democrats heavily outnumbering registered Republicans across the five boroughs.

Ranked-choice voting is being used for the first time in the city’s history for these races, complicating predictions and the logistics of counting the votes.

Unofficial and incomplete election night results only had Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams holding a commanding lead, followed by former New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley.

Shortly before 11 p.m., former presidential candidate Andrew Yang conceded in a speech in front of supporters.

“I am not going to be the next Mayor of New York City,” Yang said, sitting in fourth place.

Here are the unofficial, un-ranked first-round election results that show how the candidates stood before any ranked-choice rounds are run and before absentee and provisional ballots are added to the tally:

A voter receives her ballot in New York City's June 22 mayoral election
A voter receives her ballot at Frank McCourt High School, in New York, Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

Why we may not know the winner for two more weeks.

While tabulating ranked-choice votes is done via software and is not particularly arduous on its own, it’s taking weeks to know the final results of the mayor’s race because of New York’s procedures for counting absentee ballots.

New York is continuing to allow voters to vote absentee due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and state law allows a lot of time for ballots to be accepted and mistakes with voters’ ballots to be rectified.

Absentee ballots are accepted through June 29 as long as they’re postmarked by Election Day, and voters have another week on top of that to fix or “cure” issues, like missing signatures on the outer envelopes of their ballots, under a new state law. Military and overseas absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day are also accepted through July 5.

Then, ranked-choice voting comes into play. In the mayoral, borough president, and city council races, voters have the option to rank up to five candidates in order of their preference after New York City voters approved a ballot initiative to enact ranked-choice voting in 2019.

Ranked-choice voting ensures that the candidate who eventually wins does so with a majority of the vote.

Since no candidate won over 50% of the vote outright in the Democratic mayoral primary, the votes earned by the candidate who comes in last place are redistributed up to the next-best performing candidate. The process then continues up the chain until one candidate finally earns a majority of the vote.

Here’s a likely timeline for the results, according to THE CITY and The New York Times:

  • June 22: Unofficial, first-round election night results before ranked-choice rounds are released. These results will only include in-person votes, not absentee or provisional ballots.
  • June 29: Board of Elections runs the first round of ranked-choice voting, also without full absentee and provisional results. These results will remain unofficial.
  • July 6: Ranked-choice tallies are updated with absentee and provisional ballots as they’re counted and accepted.
  • July 12: The Board of Elections is expected to finish up final ranked-choice rounds with complete absentee and provisional results.

New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams at a campaign event
Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams greets supporters during a campaign event, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York

How the campaign shaped up during the pandemic.

The primary’s early months were dominated by Zoom forums.

Nonprofit organizations, unions, and other local groups held discussions that were less debates than opportunities for the candidates to repeat their campaign promises and sharpen their messaging.

Another factor making this campaign rather unusual was the general lack of public polling, with several pollsters saying they were uncomfortable simulating ranked-choice voting with any accuracy.

By May, in-person campaign events began to heat up, and eventually the candidates were able to meet in-person for a handful of televised debates.

Yang started the race as the frontrunner, but as more polling became available in the final weeks, he began to slip into second, third, and even fourth place in some surveys.

However, Yang remained competitive throughout, and an Ipsos poll released on the eve of the primary showed him in second place behind Adams.

Adams cleaned up with labor endorsements around the city, while Yang received a first of its kind joint-endorsement from Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish community leaders. The borough president’s momentum was complicated by a scandal involving his primary residence, when a Politico investigation found Adams may have been living in either New Jersey or his office instead of a Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone that he officially listed.

Garcia began to surge following her New York Times Editorial Board endorsement, and Wiley was able to capitalize on late support from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Outside of the top four, several progressive candidates failed to gain traction, most notably City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Stringer was accused by two women of sexually assaulting them in the early 2000s. He denied both allegations, but saw a mass defection of endorsements.

The latest twist in the race came in the final weekend, when Yang and Garcia campaigned together to “promote ranked-choice voting,” but not as a co-endorsement. Adams accused them of trying to prevent a person of color from becoming mayor, to which Yang replied that he’s been Asian his whole life.

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Trump suggests that Republicans might have been better off if Democrat Stacey Abrams was Georgia’s governor instead of Brian Kemp

Stacey Abrams
Former Georgia state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams.

  • Trump said that the GOP “might have been better” with Democrat Stacey Abrams as Georgia’s governor.
  • The former president continues to take digs at current Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
  • Last year, Kemp rejected Trump’s entreaties to overturn President Biden’s win in Georgia.
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Former President Donald Trump still has Georgia on his mind.

After now-President Joe Biden narrowly won the state in last year’s presidential race, Trump prodded Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to convene the conservative-led state legislature in order to overturn the results and pressured GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” additional votes to ensure a statewide win.

Trump’s entreaties were rejected, but he has continued to attack both men for what he says was an unfair election process in the state, withholding an endorsement of Kemp in his 2022 reelection campaign and backing Rep. Jody Hice in a Republican secretary of state primary over Raffensperger.

Read more: How Trump could use his relationship with Putin and Russia to skirt prosecution back in the USA

In 2018, Kemp’s Democratic opponent was former state House Minority Leader and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.

The race was highly competitive, with Kemp edging out Abrams by a 50.2%-48.8% margin, or 1.4 percentage points, the smallest margin in a Georgia governor’s race since 1966.

Trump was a staunch supporter of Kemp in his first race, but that goodwill has since dried up.

During his first post-presidential rally in Ohio on Saturday, the former president suggested that Abrams might have been a more preferable choice for the GOP than Kemp.

“By the way, we might have been better if she did win for governor of Georgia if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. “We might have had a better governor if she did win.”

Trump has not endorsed any of the lesser-known candidates running against Kemp in the GOP gubernatorial primary, but the former president will likely play a decisive role in the immediate future of the state party.

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