What is ranked choice voting?
Ranked choice means that instead of picking only one candidate per race, we rank each candidate by preference on our ballot, choosing up to our top five candidates in total.
Ideally, the new system helps us elect the candidate that is at least the second or third choice of a majority of the voters. In the old system, someone could eventually become the mayor of New York even if they won as little as 40% of votes in the primary, as long as that was more than the other candidates.
Not so with ranked choice voting.
If your friend was going to the grocery store and asked you what ice cream flavor they should pick up for you, you’d maybe tell them to pick up vanilla, and if they don’t have vanilla, pick up pistachio, and if they don’t have either, get chocolate. You would have a good chance of getting one of your preferred flavors.
What is important for voters to know is that if you rank a backup choice, it will never hurt your first choice candidate. Your second choice will only count if your first choice candidate gets eliminated. If your first choice candidate has no chance of winning, then your vote still stays in play, and you can help your second choice.
Basically, the first choice is the candidate you love. Your second choice is the candidate that you like. Your third and fourth choice is the candidate you like slightly less. And your fifth choice is the candidate you can stand.
Picking just one candidate?
“Do we have to pick a top five? What if we pick one?”
Your ballot will be counted just as it has in the past. Ranking your preferred candidates however, gives you a greater chance of electing a candidate you prefer, even if it is your second choice candidate.
In this issue, the Sephardic Community Federation (SCF) has published our endorsed candidate list for the June 22 Democratic Primary. We ask you to follow our suggested candidates and rankings on your ballot.
Note: This method will be used in New York’s primary on June 22 and in special elections, but will not be used in the general election in November. Early voting begins on June 12, 2021. You must vote at your assigned early voting site. Your early voting site may be different from your Election Day poll site, so make sure to check before you go! Your early voting site can be found at findmypollsite.vote.nyc