“I can make it anywhere, New York, New York.” You can almost hear Frank Sinatra singing ‘New York, New York’ in the background. It is a last chance for ranked voting. New York City and its five boroughs are choosing the democratic party candidate for mayor. The only problem is that it could take more than a week to figure out who has won.
Nobody seemed to understand the consequences when the democrats opted, in 2019, for ranking up to five choices for mayor in their primaries. And they had no idea of the massive number of absentee ballots would be caused by the pandemic. It could take until after the July 4 holiday to determine the winner in a tight race.
And obviously nobody told the democrats that ranked balloting has its own special problems. It is a system that drills down in the counting to produce a win for the least contentious candidate.
In ranked balloting, every candidate wants to be every voter’s second choice. In counting the ballots, if nobody has a majority, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is dropped out of the count and the second choices for that losing candidate are tabulated for the survivors. In effect, the losers pick the ultimate winner.
And in New York, the democrats are all a-giggle that they might have chosen the first women Democratic candidate, the first Asian-American candidate or the second black candidate for mayor.
What might cause the most trouble in the election is that the party officials are going to announce the “maybe” winner before adding in the absentee ballots. That announcement, without including the absentee ballots, at that time, is just begging for trouble and even lawsuits. At least, with all ballots counted, there will be no ‘ifs,’ ‘ands’ or ‘buts.’
But why settle for the least contentious, when you can have a candidate who is interesting?
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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