Americans are skeptical of government. And they have every right to be. If there’s anything that history has taught us, it’s that being skeptical of governments, and officials, elected or unelected, is the only sane and moral approach to life.
That goes double for elections.
Being skeptical of elections is not an “attack on democracy”, it’s a civic duty. That doesn’t mean simply rejecting any election won by the other guy, before it even happens, the way that Democrats did in 2000, 2004, and 2016. Nor does it mean believing bizarre conspiracy theories, like the Russians somehow changing the outcome of the election with post-election Facebook ads aimed at black people.
But when anyone claims that election skepticism is some sort of crime, that’s totalitarianism. Elections are no more magical or sacred than any other aspect of government. And being skeptical is sensible.
The mess in New York City is a good reminder that skepticism is warranted.
The New York City Board of Elections will redo its tally of votes in the Democratic mayoral race after inadvertently including tens of thousands of test-run ballots in its count, a board spokeswoman said Tuesday night.
Hours earlier, the board published on its website the preliminary results of ranked-choice voting tabulations, showing former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia had vaulted to second place, trailing Eric Adams by fewer than 3 percentage points.
Under the tabulations, election officials redistributed votes and eliminated candidates through a series of 11 rounds until only two leading candidates remained. The results showed Mr. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, held on to his initial lead from the night of the June 22 primary, garnering 51.1% of the more than 920,000 votes the board counted. Ms. Garcia had 48.9% of votes, according to the Board of Elections. She surged ahead of Maya Wiley, who had been in second place before the ranked-choice process kicked in.
Mr. Adams challenged the Board of Elections’ vote count on Tuesday, pointing out the large increase of voters. On the night of the primary, the board said it had tallied nearly 800,000 in-person votes.
“The vote total just released by the Board of Elections is 100,000-plus more than the total announced on election night, raising serious questions,” Mr. Adams said in a statement.
The Board of Elections spokeswoman said there were 135,000 dummy ballots inadvertently included in Tuesday’s count, which caused the discrepancy. They hadn’t been cleared from mandatory prequalification of the system conducted before elections, and to what extent the dummy ballots affected the count isn’t clear. Election officials planned to redo the ranked-choice voting tabulations on Wednesday.
New York City’s electoral system isn’t as bad as say Philly, but it’s still pretty bad. And the ranked-choice gimmick was a blatant attempt at heading off minority voters from jettisoning the pro-crime policies of lefties. Adams, who I’m not a fan of, knows the system and the game. And he knows this is a city where the Democrat machine pulls off any shenanigans it can get away with. And being an insider, he probably has a good idea of exactly what’s going on. Adams is not the candidate whom lefties want, so they’re going to do everything possible to stop him.
And the backlash if this keeps going on will be huge.