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What to expect in New York’s general election

November 7, 2023 Robert Yoon, Associated Press
Absentee ballots
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New York voters will decide of a variety of races and ballot questions in general elections held across the state Tuesday.

At stake are a range of offices including the New York City Council, state Supreme Court, as well as mayors and county executives from throughout the state. Elections for federal and statewide offices will be held next year.

One notable race has already been decided.

In the New York City Council race for District 9, criminal justice reform activist Yusef Salaam is running unopposed. Salaam was one of five men convicted and later exonerated in the “Central Park Jogger” rape case. He defeated two other candidates in the June 27 primary. He will replace Kristin Richardson Jordan, who declined to run for reelection. Terms are normally for four years, but because of a quirk in the city charter, the City Council races in 2021 and 2023 year are for two-year terms only. The election to four-year terms will resume in 2025.

Also on the ballot is the district attorney’s race in Queens.

Elsewhere in the state, voters in Glen Cove, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rome, Utica and Yonkers will elect mayors. In Erie, Monroe, Oneida, Onondaga and Suffolk counties, voters will elect county executives.

Two statewide ballot measures will be put to voters on Tuesday. Proposal 1 would remove the debt limit placed on small city school districts under the state Constitution. Proposal 2 would extend an exclusion from the debt limit for sewage projects.

A look at what to expect:

ELECTION DAY

Polls close at 9 p.m. EST.

WHAT’S ON THE BALLOT?

The Associated Press will provide coverage for 59 races across the state. This includes 37 New York City Council races; one local district attorney’s race; six mayoral races; five county executive seats; eight Supreme Court seats; and two statewide ballot proposals.

WHO GETS TO VOTE?

Voters registered in the specific jurisdictions holding elections may participate. The deadline to register was Oct. 28. Registrations filed by mail had to be postmarked by Oct. 23. New York does not allow Election Day registration.

DECISION NOTES

The AP does not make projections and will declare a winner only when it is determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap. If a race has not been called, the AP will continue to cover any newsworthy developments, such as candidate concessions or declarations of victory. In doing so, the AP will make clear that it has not yet declared a winner and explain why.

Off-year elections for local races in smaller jurisdictions can be relatively low-turnout events. In a competitive contest, the margin between the first- and second-place candidates may be a relatively small number of votes. This may slow the race-calling process as a handful of absentee, provisional or other untallied ballots could play a decisive role in determining the result.

In New York, an automatic recount is triggered in races with more than 1 million votes if the margin of victory is fewer than 5,000 votes. For smaller races, the automatic recount is triggered if the margin of victory is either 0.5% or less, or up to 20 votes.

The AP may declare a winner in a race that is eligible for a recount if it can determine the lead is too large for a recount or legal challenge to change the outcome.

WHAT DO TURNOUT AND ADVANCE VOTE LOOK LIKE?

As of Wednesday, there were more than 13 million voters registered in the state. Of those, 49% are Democrats, 22% are Republicans and 24% are not registered with any party. Turnout for the 2022 general election was 45% of registered voters.

Also as of Wednesday, more than 190,000 people across the state had voted. In the 2022 general election, 26% of voters statewide voted before Election Day.

HOW LONG DOES VOTE COUNTING USUALLY TAKE?

In the 2022 general election, the AP first reported results at 9:01 p.m. EST, or one minute after polls closed. The election night tabulation ended at 2:50 a.m. EST with about 96% of total votes counted.


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