Salsa the Blog

The Latine Population Dominated the NYC 2021 Primary Elections

This year’s NYC primary election changed the game: it marked the city’s FIRST use of ranked-choice voting (RCV) in its primary elections. It “replac[ed] a previous practice of runoff elections held the following month after primary votes were cast. It was the largest city-wide RCV election in American history” [1]. Not only has this been a different direction for NYC elections but it has also positively affected the number of voters (both old and new) to participate in this year’s elections.

A Turnout Increase

As emphasized before, RCV brought so many new voters to this year’s NYC primary elections. In FairVote’s pre-primary poll with Citizen Data of Democratic voters citywide, nearly “four times more voters indicated that their new power to rank candidates was more likely to bring them to the polls than those who said they would be less likely to vote, with the biggest positive impact on Latine/x voters” [1]. As seen in the graph above, the rate of new voters for this year increased by a long shot!

Not only were there large numbers of new voters, but many of those were voting for several races, and not just the anticipated mayoral race. According to FairVote, “92% and 87% of voters who voted for mayor also participated in elections for comptroller and public advocate” [1]. That is five points more than last year in the number of New Yorkers who chose to cast a vote for comptroller and ten points more when compared to the public advocacy race in 2013.

Reflective Representation

Because more people were encouraged to vote, more candidates that best represented their communities were elected. Ranging from Tiffany Caban to Antonio Reynoso, and the youngest city council candidate to win, Chi Ossé, not only were better-equipped people winning to represent us, but people that look like us were also winning. Not only were more than 50% of the winning candidates people of color but as well as 29 of 51 city council seats are projected to go to women, the highest number in city history and up from 14 today [1].

These are just a few of the many positive impacts that RCV brought to NYC primaries. How do you feel about the new effects of RCV? Let us know in our social handles @salsathevote 


[1] Martinez, Kiko. “These Puerto Rican Students Designed a Satellite That NASA Will Launch into Space.” Remezcla, July 2021.