It's Primary Day! We'll be updating this story all day, so scroll down for the latest news. Have an election-related tip? Email tips@gothamist.com (subject line: Primary Day)



HERE'S WHAT WE WILL KNOW TONIGHT

Despite the fact it may take another month before we know all the winners, there still will be news when the polls close tonight:

  • We will know the winner of the Republican mayoral primary with the head-to-head match-up between Curtis Sliwa and Fernando Mateo.
  • We may know the winner of the Manhattan District Attorney contest. This race is not using ranked-choice voting since it is a state office. If the race is very close, all eyes will be on the number of outstanding absentee ballots.
  • In all the city contests including mayor, public advocate, comptroller, city council and borough president, we will know the unofficial results based on early and Primary Day in-person voting. We will not see our first ranked-choice tally until next Tuesday.

PRIMARY DAY OFF TO A SLOW START AT THE POLLS

Reports from around the city indicate that things are a little "chill" around many typically lively polling places. "It's pretty slow right now, but we're probably going to get a steady trickle," said Ayo Harrington, a poll worker in Alphabet City.

She added that many people were so focused on understanding ranked-choice voting (RCV), some voters have made the mistake of marking too many candidates for the non-RCV choices. It's something that the ballot machines can catch, and poll workers have been trained to guide people through the process of redoing their ballot. "I think it's like riding a bicycle," she added. "You do it once, then you kinda get it."

Some voters told Gothamist/WNYC that they had been eagerly awaiting the chance to cast a vote on primary day.

"I voted for past presidents, but never for mayor," said Nelson Peguero, a first-time local voter. "This is the most powerful race I've ever seen, because the demographics of candidates comes from African-Americans, Asian-Americans, we have women, we have [Kathryn] Garcia who came from foster home growing up with a biracial family, they all have a little bit that we can relate [to]. If we can relate with that person, we can all work together and make it happen. C'mon man, this is New York City, I love this city."

CANDIDATES SPREAD OUT ACROSS CITY

Eric Adams was at his polling place in Bed-Stuy around 6:30 a.m., where he became emotional talking about his mother, who died several months ago while the campaign was underway.

Many of the leading mayoral candidates are out and about making one last push for voters at their local polling sites, or just goofing around to show how absolutely not stressed out and tired they are. Andrew Yang was at a polling site in Chelsea early on Tuesday rallying the press corps for a long day ahead. He then was spotted dancing and shadow boxing in the Bronx a little later in the morning.

“I got some dancing shoes, I gotta DJ,” Maya Wiley said while speaking to reporters in Alphabet City and chatting with voters near a polling site there. She stressed she’d be patient and wait for a final call from the city’s Board of Elections, but planned to party Tuesday night with her supporters no matter what the day held. “And I can’t wait to celebrate just how amazing this city is.”

A photo of Maya Wiley talking to reporters on Primary Day 2021

Maya Wiley talking to reporters on Primary Day 2021

arrow
Maya Wiley talking to reporters on Primary Day 2021
Gwynne Hogan/Gothamist

She also took the opportunity this morning to jump on a Revel scooter with Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher.

ADAMS POSTER AND CAMPAIGN SIGNAGE

Meanwhile, on Eric Adams' home turf at Brooklyn Borough Hall, a large photo of him appeared next to voting booths this morning. The site manager would not comment to Gothamist/WNYC when asked about the poster. It has since been removed.

WHAT WE'RE HEARING FROM VOTERS

Liz Kim/Gothamist

Voters shared more of their thoughts on the issues guiding their ballots this election. Sylvia Faty, who voted in the East Village this morning, told us, "I'm concerned about safety in the city. The violence is just.. has increased and I don't know if it's because the pandemic and people are out now and they're crazy and wild but that's one and also affordable housing is another."

Tracey Kelly, who voted in Stuy-Town, said, "for the mayoral race, I was torn because you have to have to social justice angle but you also have the I can run a big city angle so I tried to think of both of those things."

"I think there's a disconnect between the mayor and the community," said Jeanne D'Onofrio, who also voted in Stuy-Town. "We're feeling like we're on our own here sometimes, not always, so I'm hoping with the new mayor there will be some change."

Chris Easter, who voted in Alphabet City, was wearing a button down shirt he'd sewn homemade patches onto, emblazoned with the word "VOTE." You can see it in the tweet below.

He said the voting process itself was "super smooth."

"I did my research I was prepared," he said adding that the most important issues for him were, "social justice, Black Lives Matter and trans lives matter."

MEANWHILE, IN NON-MAYORAL RACE NEWS

A photo from inside the Bronx County Courthouse on June 22nd, 2021

Inside the Bronx County Courthouse on June 22nd, 2021

arrow
Inside the Bronx County Courthouse on June 22nd, 2021
David Cruz/Gothamist

The leading candidates for Bronx borough president were on hand to greet voters outside the Bronx County Courthouse on Tuesday morning. Councilmember Vanessa Gibson stood outside with fellow colleague, Bronx/Manhattan Councilmember Diana Ayala. Gibson noted that energy is high across the Bronx, though she’s heard a few hiccups happening in Co-Op City, where one polling site was re-routed.

Councilmember Fernando Cabrera, another leading candidate in the race, was at another end of the courthouse, saying that P.S. 33 also experienced some issues with scanners. A mechanic was called up to handle one faulty machine, Cabrera noted. In an interview with Gothamist/WNYC, Cabrera said he believes that while turnout on primary day has been slow, he expects more will come out after the rains stop this evening. Cabrera called the Bronx a swing district since there is no one from the Bronx running for citywide office.

Outside the Bronx County Courthouse, Hawk Newsome, a member of the Black Lives Matter Greater New York chapter, cast his ballot on Tuesday. He ranked Maya Wiley first in the race for mayor, followed by Paperboy Prince.

“I don’t feel like the other candidates are worth our vote,” Newsome said, criticizing Eric Adams, another mayoral candidate, for his support in empowering the police department to reduce crime.

But Adams found a supporter in Dominga Landreu, who ranked the Brooklyn borough president first in her slate. “My number two is Maya,” Landreu said.

“My number two was Eric Adams,” Renznick Pratt, who accompanied Landreu, added.

GARCIA CRISSCROSSES THE CITY ONE LAST TIME

A photo of Kathryn Garcia campaigning at W 109th and Broadway

Kathryn Garcia campaigning at W 109th and Broadway

arrow
Kathryn Garcia campaigning at W 109th and Broadway
Liz Kim/Gothamist

Kathryn Garcia made the most of the final stretch of her surprising campaign, starting her morning greeting voters in Inwood and then making visits to four Bronx polling sites before hitting the Upper West Side.

The former sanitation commissioner will end the day in Brooklyn, where she plans to watch the ballot returns at an event space in Bushwick that is run by her sister. 

Unlike the previous three days, Garcia’s schedule did not include any appearances with Andrew Yang, who she has campaigned with in a strategic but lopsided union. 

Asked if she was worried that some of her supporters might be turned off by her teaming up with a rival she once accused of being sexist, she replied, “There was that moment when he thought I should be working for him. But look, I’ve said consistently, I am not telling my voters who to vote for. I want them to rank me number one, and I want to bring this home but I really want them to go out and vote and use their entire rank choice ballot.”

Several voters exiting the poll site at P.S. 165 said they ranked Garcia as either their first or second choice. That included Galen Stump, who said he picked Garcia as his first choice and Maya Wiley as his second.

“I wanted to vote for a woman for mayor, and I thought that both of those candidates were very strong and did well in the debates,” he said. 

Elaine Mokhtefi also expressed a desire to finally see a woman mayor. The 92-year-old, who carefully scribbled all of her selections on a piece of paper, said her first choice was Maya Wiley.

“I think she’s progressive and she’s got good supporters,” she said. 

She said she ranked Garcia second because she also struck her as progressive and she thought she had a done a good job as commissioner.  

Another voter, Ben Whitely, credited Garcia’s strong support on the Upper West Side to the New York Times endorsement. He picked Garcia as his first choice and Scott Stringer, the city comptroller, as his second. 

“He’s a familiar commodity,” he said, of Stringer.

Israel Cruz, 73, said he planned to vote for Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, as his first choice.

“He’s more of a comfort than the others,” said Cruz, who expressed concern about crime and shootings.

ERIC ADAMS MEETS SUPPORTERS & DETRACTORS IN WASHINGTON HEIGHTS

A photo of Eric Adams flanked by supporters Ydanis Rodriguez (left) and Adam Clayton Powell IV (right)

Eric Adams flanked by supporters Ydanis Rodriguez (left) and Adam Clayton Powell IV (right)

arrow
Eric Adams flanked by supporters Ydanis Rodriguez (left) and Adam Clayton Powell IV (right)
David Cruz/Gothamist

Early this afternoon, Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams paid a visit to Washington Heights. Surrounded by volunteers, Adams led a roving campaign-style rally on West 168th Street near Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. Several voters stopped for pictures and a few words with Adams, who walked alongside Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, who has come out strong for Adams. Rodriguez, as he’s done so over the last few weeks, led a chant that energized supporters as they walked the streets.

While most of the voters Adams stopped to chat with were supportive of his run for City Hall, at least one voter voiced his disapproval. That voter, Chris Ashley, a chaplain at the hospital, was critical of Adams’ comments in 2020 when he said new Brooklyn residents should “go back to Iowa, go back to Ohio.”

“That hurt me. The city’s my home. It has been for a number of years,” Ashley said. “I always felt welcomed here, the only exception being when somebody says, ‘if you’re not from here, you need to go away.’”

Ashley voted for Wiley.

Adams, however, took the criticism in stride, telling Ashely he wants to be a mayor for all New Yorkers.

“It’s alright to disagree,” Adams said. “As long as we agree that we have to have the same fair and affordable city. And I look forward, when I’m your mayor, to provide that for you.”

Other supporters were happy to express their support for Adams. That included Rosario Castillo, a Washington Heights residents who voted for Adams because of his association with Rodriguez.

“Because he’s allied with Ydanis, and we’re with Ydanis, I decided to vote for him,” Castillo said, adding she hopes crime and the cost of living drop in New York City.

Carol Tesoriero, a voter living in Brooklyn who was stopping to see her eye doctor at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, said she wanted a moderate Democrat like Adams in office. “He’ll be in the middle,” Tesoriero said.