It’s lucky that the Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses weren’t that close.
More than 24 hours after voters in the Silver State headed home, less than 90 percent of the actual vote had been counted. Maybe that doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but if Bernie Sanders had been stuck in a dogfight with Joe Biden instead of trouncing him, we’d likely be reliving the uncertainty of the Iowa caucuses where both Sanders and Pete Buttigieg were calling themselves the winner for days.
While it’s important to get things right (remember Florida in 2000?), it’s also important to get things done in a timely fashion – particularly in the primary calendar, where the schedule is tight between contests.
Between the mess of Iowa and the continuing stench of Russian meddling in our elections, it’s understandable that people are a little nervous whenever they head to the polls. Here in New York, we need to reassure voters that their ballots will be counted in an orderly process rather than like last month’s debacle in Iowa. (Note to future app-buyers: avoid companies with names like Shadow Inc.)
With a special election for borough president next month and the presidential primary in April, Democratic voters in Queens are expected to head to the polls four times this year. The least we can do is assure them that everything is running smoothly.
With ranked-choice voting coming to next year’s Democratic mayoral primary, it’s important to educate voters on how the system will work and how long it could take before we know the actual identity of the winner.
And as confusing as ranked-choice voting will be for primary voters next year, just be thankful that we don’t have caucuses in New York City. Ballots are supposed to be secret for a reason—especially on the Upper West Side.